By Philip Woodward, NCCDD Systems Change Manager
The Raleigh Mayor’s Committee for Persons with Disabilities celebrated the 28th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) by hosting its annual Employer Resource Workshop on July 24 at the Brownstone University – DoubleTree Hotel in Raleigh. The event’s theme revolved around recruiting, hiring and retaining people with disabilities for competitive, integrated employment.
Chair Robert Owens welcomed the more than 50 attendees, and Secretary Lori Millette presented two scholarship awards to NC State University students with disabilities who live in Raleigh.
NCWorks Business Services Manager Christian Mosley shared the four industries projected to grow (healthcare, information technology, skilled traders and advanced manufacturing) and discussed the services NCWorks offers to assist people with disabilities in securing a job. Then NC Vocational Rehabilitation (NCVR) Business Relations Representative Kendall Williams said, “Everybody has the right to work” and shared the services NCVR offers for businesses looking to hire people with disabilities.
EveryBody Works NC and a Digital Lookbook that showcases individuals with intellectual and other developmental disabilities who are successfully employed. Matthew Schwab, an individual with Down syndrome who appears in the Digital Lookbook and who interned for NC Representative John Bradford, spoke about the value of employment and people with disabilities participating in society.Next, NC Council on Developmental Disabilities (NCCDD) Executive Director Chris Egan provided an overview of NCCDD, its Five-Year State Plan and its employment initiatives that include
Lastly, Lynne Deese of the NC Assistive Technology Program (NCATP) wrapped up the event by sharing actual assistive devices such as eye-gaze technology and adaptive keyboards that can help employers successfully accommodate individuals with disabilities in the workplace.
Governor Roy Cooper has declared July 26 as Americans with Disabilities Act Day in North Carolina.
Many thanks to Mayor’s Committee members Kristy Dixon and Shakema McClean for organizing the event!