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Autism Awareness and Acceptance Month – April 2024 Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities

By News

Autism, or autism spectrum disorder (ASD), refers to a broad range of conditions characterized by challenges with social skills, repetitive behaviors, speech, and nonverbal communication. Autism looks different for everyone, and each person with autism has a distinct set of strengths and challenges.

The Autism Society of America invites everyone to join #CelebrateDifferences with the belief that recognizing how connected we all are in our differences, strengths, and challenges can be what unites us instead of divides us.

Autism is the fastest growing developmental disorder in the United States with 1 in 36 children having the diagnosis. Diagnosis is critical as children who receive an Autism diagnosis by age 4 are more likely to receive services which lead to improved long-term outcomes.

Awareness of the diagnosis leads to acceptance. And acceptance brings good jobs, more opportunities for employment, housing that is affordable, accessible, and integrated, transportation systems which match personal needs and lifestyles, inclusive voting processes, and any needed long-term services and supports.

The Autism Society will travel nationwide to collect community stories for their “Road to Acceptance” campaign. This mobile video studio will engage community members to reflect on acts of acceptance, moments of challenges, and opportunities for greater inclusion. Learn more about the campaign at Autism Society of America.

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TTTX Internship Acheivement Celebration

By Blog

Toyotetsu Texas, Inc. (TTTX), in partnership with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC), celebrates its inaugural internship class participating in a state-wide fee-for-service contract to purchase and deliver services to pay wages and associated taxes and fees (wage services) for Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) participants placed in paid work experience (PWE).

Work-based learning is defined as participation in work activities in real work settings to help individuals with disabilities learn about possible fields of interest and gain soft and hard skills through hands-on exposure. The objective of PWE is to increase work-based learning opportunities through Texas’ integrated workforce system for VR participants who are students with disabilities, thereby providing them with foundational employment skills and better preparing them for successful transition to postsecondary education and employment.

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TWC Welcomes Trevino as the New Commissioner Representing Labor

By Blog

AUSTIN – Gov. Greg Abbott has appointed Alberto “Albert” Treviño, III as the Texas Workforce Commission’s new Commissioner Representing Labor.

“I am honored to serve the interests of 14 million Texans as the Commissioner Representing Labor,” said Commissioner Treviño. “I look forward to working with staff and my fellow Commissioners to continue making Texas the best place to live and work.”

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Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez III Departs from TWC

By Blog

AUSTIN – TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez announced he will depart from the Texas Workforce Commission effective December 15, 2022. Commissioner Alvarez was appointed as Commissioner Representing Labor by Governor Abbott in February 2016, and reappointed in March 2017, to represent the interests of Texas workers.

“It has been a pleasure to serve as the Commissioner Representing Labor of the Texas Workforce Commission for two terms. I am truly humbled and honored to have been given the opportunity to serve you and this great state of Texas,” said TWC Commissioner Representing Labor Julian Alvarez. “I truly have enjoyed the opportunity to develop impactful and innovative initiatives benefitting both our constituents and employers.”

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TWC Kicks Off Summer Earn and Learn Program, Connecting Students with Disabilities to Meaningful Employment

By Blog

The Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) announces the kickoff of this year’s Summer Earn and Learn (SEAL) program for students with disabilities aged 14-22. Through work-based learning, youth earn a paycheck while learning new skills and gaining professional experience. Employers participating in SEAL benefit from the addition of engaged and enthusiastic team members.

SEAL, a partnership between TWCWorkforce Solutions Boards and Texas Workforce Solutions-Vocational Rehabilitation Services (TWS-VRS), works with local employers who partner to create meaningful work opportunities. Students participating in SEAL attend work readiness training to prepare them for successful employment. During their work-based learning, students earn a paycheck while acquiring new skills and professional experiences.

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East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind Employee Earns Statewide Award

By Blog

WorkQuest and its annual Artie Lee Hinds Awards Dinner recently received coverage on East Texas ABC affiliate KLTV 7, showcasing an award recipient from the East Texas Lighthouse for the Blind.

Here’s a transcript from the story below. To view the video segment, CLICK HERE.

An East Texas man is showing us the value of perseverance and knowing your capabilities. Ronald Jordan was one of 6,000 people who was awarded the WorkQuest Artie Lee Hinds Employee of the Year award last week in Austin.

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Inclusive Vision UH ‘FIXIT’ Call Center Now Staffed by Blind and Low-Vision Operators

By Blog, News

Locks not working? Broken faucet? Too hot in your office or dorm room? Faculty, staff and students at the University of Houston rely on the FIXIT program to fulfill a wide range of non-emergency work requests on campus. Now, through a new partnership with WorkQuest and The Lighthouse of Houston, the UH FIXIT call center is staffed by blind and low-vision operators with 24/7 availability. Read More