Staci’s Opening Remarks – Fall 2018

Staci BowlenDear Friends of ACT,

We’ve got some exciting updates to share with you in this newsletter about National Disability Employment Awareness Month, ACT’s expansion into northern Boone County, the CoMoGives campaign, and our continued advancements in providing persons with disabilities new opportunities and inclusive activities in our community. 

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).  This year’s theme is “America’s Workforce:  Empowering All.”  This is the perfect year for this theme.

As unemployment rates continue to drop and job openings remain unfilled due to labor shortages, it is even more important to remember that diversity and inclusion endeavors need to make room for individuals with disabilities.

People with disabilities represent a talented pool of job candidates who often go unnoticed.  NDEAM is a fantastic time to start noticing!

This October ACT will once again recognize the important contributions workers with disabilities make each day.

NDEAM is also a special time for ACT and other organizations to celebrate the amazing individuals we support, the dedicated team providing career services, and the many, many businesses that have already experienced the value of hiring and promoting employees with disabilities.

ACT has been a pioneer in inclusive employment. We are proud to continue to be an example in our community.

I really think we’ve come a long way. But we can still gain ground. And you can help. You can support the efforts of those who are working for inclusion. The website at www.dol.gov/ndeam has many ideas for steps you can take to make a difference.

Suggestions range from simple tasks, like putting up a poster, to more comprehensive arrangements, such as implementing a disability education program within your organization. 

Consider attending the Columbia Employment Consortium and the Mid-Missouri Business Leadership Network’s event to celebrate the month on October 16, 2018, 8am-9:30 am, at the Country Club of Missouri Event Center.  Breakfast, a learning session on hidden disabilities, and awards for three local business champions are on the agenda.

Find more information and register here.  I hope I’ll see you there.

However you choose to take part, you’ll be playing an important role in fostering a more inclusive workforce, one where every person is recognized for his or her abilities, every day of every month.   

Also, with the end of year holidays just around the corner, it’s time again for our annual fundraising campaign through CoMoGives. This is a unique opportunity for you to support ACT and those we serve by giving a donation that will provide inclusive opportunities and impact the community. 

Watch for an email from us with a reminder of how you can participate. It’s all web-based. So you’ll be able to see our progress as we move closer to our goal.

ACT has used these funds to improve quality of life for people we support by updating much-needed medical equipment, providing access to public transportation, replacing worn household items, and even fulfilling recreational needs, like funding a first-time out of State trip.

Lastly, in early December we will be celebrating our staff’s tenure and dedicated service at our annual awards ceremony and holiday gathering.  Our team at ACT will be acknowledged and applauded for their efforts and commitment to providing hope and inclusiveness to our community. We could not be more proud of this team. 

The holiday season is a busy but magical time. I hope we will be able to pause, take a breath, and enjoy the season with loved ones.

Until next time,

 

 

 

Staci Bowlen

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