October is Disability Employment Awareness Month
Governor Abbott issued a proclamation declaring October to be Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) in Texas. He encourages all Texans to commit to “promoting disability employment awareness, creating more inclusive workplaces, and cultivating more employment opportunities for Texans with disabilities.” A diverse, inclusive economy is a strong economy.
Each October, Texas celebrates DEAM with job fairs, public awareness events, and a statewide #HireAbility campaign to promote employment opportunities for Texans with disabilities. As part of the public awareness campaign, we partner with the Texas Workforce Commission to distribute free DEAM posters to thousands of Texas employers and businesses to educate them on the talents and abilities of workers with disabilities, while sharing valuable employer resources through the HireAbility website. While things may look different this year, the Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities (GCPD) is excited to take this time to uplift stories of excellence in hiring people with disabilities and spotlight outstanding work by a talented Texas artist with a disability.
2020 Disability Employment Awareness Month Poster
GCPD is proud to reveal the winner of this year’s Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) poster competition! The posters are intended to spark conversations on the employment of people with disabilities in businesses and organizations across the Lone Star State.
We received many beautiful pieces of art from all over Texas, and Dinah Rodriguez of McAllen was selected as our winner. Dinah’s piece, We See Things Differently, is a dynamic, abstract piece that serves to highlight the importance of including different perspectives. While legally blind, Dinah is a talented artist who practices in multiple mediums. She publishes her artwork to different sites where she sells them on rugs, mugs, and more! She created a children’s book and three coloring books, all of which can be found online and in bookstores in McAllen. Art, she says, has helped her find peace and happiness since a very young age.
2020 Disability Employment Awareness Month Poster
Dinah notes that Texas Workforce Solutions- Vocational Rehabilitation Services were instrumental in helping her develop independence, both as an artist and as a legally blind person. With their encouragement, she entered the 2020 DEAM poster competition and says she is delighted to have been selected as the winner. She hopes that others with a disability see that “…being different doesn’t mean we can’t provide for ourselves! We love what we are gifted to do, and there is no stopping us from succeeding.”
To request a free copy of this year’s poster, connect with GCPD through the contact link below with the subject line “DEAM Poster.” Be sure to provide us with a U.S.P.S. mailing address. Posters are available free of charge while supplies last. You can also download and print your own version at our website.
Statewide DEAM Events
DEAM doesn’t stop with a poster! TWC is celebrating all month long with a variety of fun, informative Texas HireAbility events. Check out a brief sampling below and be sure to go to the Texas HireAbility website for the full listing.
Wednesday, October 14th
- Disability Chamber of Commerce, Workforce Solutions Cameron County, and Workforce Solutions Lower Rio will be hosting a DisABILITY Employer Awareness Virtual Pre-conference Kickoff from 9:00 a.m. to 11:00 a.m. Join industry leaders are they share their stories in how they have been successful in creating pathways to employment for people with disabilities!
- Workforce Solutions Heart of Texas Region and VR Region 3 will be hosting a “Walk-N-Roll Job Fair” from 10:00 a.m. to 1:00 p.m. Contact Jose Palacios or Jonathan Mize for more information.
Tuesday, October 20th
- Workforce Solutions West Central Texas will be hosting a Facebook live from 5:00 p.m. to 6:00 p.m. They will hold short, information sessions on transition services for students. No registration is necessary.
- The 20th Annual South Plains Career Expo will be held from 8:00 a.m. to noon. The largest of its kind in West Texas, over 150 employers will be in attendance. Students will be able to see the amazing diversity of career opportunities in the region, as well as the skills and education needed to pursue those careers.
Thursday, October 22nd
- Workforce Solutions Lower Rio will be hosting a HireAbility Job Fair from 9:30 a.m. to 11:30 a.m.
- Workforce Solutions Cameron will be hosting an NDEAM Virtual Forum from 2:00 p.m. to 4:00 p.m. in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Register to attend and for more information.
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