National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.

According to Department of Labor statistics, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is twice that of the general population, and they are also nearly three times more likely to live in poverty than those without disabilities. These are issues Goodwill is working hard to eliminate everyday through our programs and services.  In 2016, Goodwill employed 151 individuals who identified as having a disability and trained 249 high school students who received special education services.

If you are looking for ideas on promoting a disability-friendly workplace, here are seven ways to carry out the spirit of National Disability Employment Awareness Month all year long.

# 1: Host a Disability Mentoring Day

# 2: Sponsor a “Lunch and Learn” Series About Disability Issues

# 3: Provide Volunteer Opportunities to Your Employees

# 4: Display Posters Promoting Disability Inclusion

# 5: Offer American Sign Language Training Classes to Your Employees

# 6: Host a Disability 101 Event for Employees

# 7: Incorporate Disability Into Your Onboarding Processes

To see the full list of ideas, visit https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/YearRound.htm

 

Don’t forget to check out our webpage with more tips and activities.

Please follow and like us:
0

Mission In Action : Ahassan

 

Ahassan’s journey to Goodwill began nine months ago on the other side of the world. He arrived in Omaha in December 2016 with his family after fleeing persecution in his native country. His family was excited to reach Omaha but Ahassan knew that finding employment was an important first step while adjusting to their new home.

Ahassan shares his path to success with Goodwill Employment Specialists Sherri Kallon and Katy Young in Goodwill’s computer lab.

When Ahassan arrived in Omaha, he was assigned to an employment agency. Ahassan brings years of experience as a communications expert, is fluent in multiple languages and has several degrees and certifications. He needed an advocate to refer him to employers, provide a positive reference and help him navigate the Omaha labor market. Weeks and months passed and Ahassan was only offered positions outside his field and underutilizing his proven skills. He began to feel disheartened and unsure what the future would hold if he was not able to find a job.

The employment agency referred Ahassan to Goodwill’s Employment Ready Program to complete community service and gain exposure to the American working environment. The Employment Ready Program provides job readiness skills to anyone seeking employment assistance. Goodwill Employment Ready Specialist, Sherri Kallon explains, “When Ahassan first came to us. It was clear that he was struggling and had been let down many times. But it was also obvious that he is very intelligent and just needed someone to advocate for him.”

Sherri knew Ahassan was the perfect fit to intern in Goodwill’s computer lab. Immediately, he jumped at the opportunity to help other job seekers improve their computer skills while also researching education and job opportunities.

To enhance Ahassan’s employment search, Sherri engaged her colleague Katy Young from Goodwill’s Business Solutions Program. Business Solutions works directly with area companies to help fill their open positions. Sherri and Katy began sending Ahassan multiple job opportunities in his field. While Ahassan completed applications, Sherri and Katy worked their magic behind-the-scenes. Once Ahassan submitted his resume, Katy was quick to follow up with the company’s hiring manager to provide a positive reference. Their extra attention made the difference for Ahassan. After just two weeks at Goodwill, Ahassan interviewed and was offered the perfect position in his field.

Ahassan has been astounded by the personalized attention he received at Goodwill, saying, “Sherri and Katy are wonderful assets to Goodwill. They helped me find the perfect job and I am very grateful. Goodwill is doing amazing things in the community every day!” Join Goodwill as we wish Ahassan good luck in his new position. We know that he too will be doing amazing things in our community!

Please follow and like us:
0