Goodwill Southeast Georgia is proud to participate 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 "America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion."
"As an organization, Goodwill is keenly aware of the that jobs change lives," said Michael Winckler, President and CEO of Goodwill Southeast Georgia. "We believe that every person has the right to sustainable, economic independence. In a challenging climate of recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, Goodwill continues to amplify access to employment and training opportunities for people with disabilities to reach their individual goals."
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.
Reflecting this year's theme, Goodwill Southeast Georgia will host various activities to educate the community on disability employment issues and its commitment to an inclusive work culture. These efforts include a panel discussion with area employers and partner organizations, presentations to local elected officials, education on social media and a celebration for clients in the AbilityOne Program as well as associates and partner organizations who make the program a success.
Established in 1938 by the U.S. AbilityOne Commission, the program is among the largest source of employment in the United States for individuals who are blind or have significant disabilities. Goodwill Southeast Georgia's participation in the AbilityOne program is acutely aligned with the organization's mission to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment to live independently and become employed. Goodwill Southeast Georgia is one of 500 nonprofit organizations nationwide participating in the AbilityOne program.
Goodwill Southeast Georgia currently employs nearly 100 individuals at three contract sites across Southeast Georgia.
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 contacting Meredith Champagne at Goodwill Southeast Georgia by phone 912.354.6611 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.