Press Release
Public Health

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Kittitas County Observes National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Kittitas County, WA - 10/09/2017 - Kittitas County Developmental Disabilities Program announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "Inclusion Drives Innovation."

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

"Americans of all abilities must have access to good, safe jobs," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. "Smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving situations leads to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition, and drives innovation."
Reflecting this year's theme, throughout the month, Kittitas County Developmental Disabilities Program will be promoting outreach and education to Kittitas County employers on disability employment issues and its commitment to an inclusive work culture. The Developmental Disabilities Program is working closely with Elmview to assist approximately 30 (thirty) people obtain jobs in the community

"Elmview is proud to be a part of this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month," said Bruce Tabb. "We want to spread the important message that we value all contributions of a diverse workforce, inclusive of those individuals with disabilities."
The County Commissioners and the City Council of Ellensburg are also acknowledging the importance of making Kittitas County an inclusive community by issuing Proclamations designating October National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Kittitas County should be a place where people with disabilities are able to work, shop, and recreate alongside everybody else.

Businesses who are interested in engaging with other companies who are already have an inclusive workforce can participate in Elmview’s Employer Advisory Board. For more information on Elmview’s Employer Advisory Board please contact Sherie Bury at 509-925-6688.
Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting https://www.co.kittitas.wa.us/health/programs/developmental-disabilities.aspx, https://elmview.org/home.html, or  www.dol.gov/ndeam. A poster for National Disability Employment Awareness Month is available for download at https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/2017English.htm.
For telephone inquiries about National Disability Employer Awareness Month please contact: Joann Schaan Kittitas County Developmental Disabilities Program at 509-962-7515 or Bruce Tabb at Elmview at 509-899-0148.
 

Kittitas County, from the Cascades to the Columbia, and online at https://www.co.kittitas.wa.us

###

Contact: Kasey Knutson, Public Information Officer, 509-962-7515