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Announcing the 2020 Disability Employment Awareness Poster Competition Winner!

By Blog

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.

Request a Free DEAM Poster

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.


The Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities provides GovDelivery updates for informational purposes on a variety of disability related issues for a diverse audience. Updates may include information provided by external sources. The inclusion of this external information does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the Committee or the Office of the Governor of any information, policy, product, or service offered by an external source.

If you would like to be removed from the Governor’s Committee e-mail distribution list, click the “Unsubscribe All” link below or click the “Manage Subscriptions” link below to update your account preferences.

Governor Abbott Declares October 15th White Cane Day

By Blog, News

White Cane Day is October 15th

White Cane Day Austin logo According to the American Council of the Blind, White Cane Day was first recognized in 1964 by President Lyndon Johnson as White Cane Safety Day. Since then, October 15th has been celebrated as White Cane Day. Originally intended as a reminder to the public to respond with care and courtesy to those using the white cane, today it is celebrated as a time to educate the wider community on the remarkable contributions made by their blind and visually impaired peers.

Governor Greg Abbott issued a proclamation declaring October 15th to be White Cane Day in Texas, and encouraged all Texans to “learn more about blindness and visual impairment, and how these challenges do not define the Texans who have overcome them.” Take this time to learn more about our fellow Texans and the ways in which they have contributed to the diverse fabric of our state. Texas is a brighter, stronger state when everyone has the opportunity to progress and fulfill their full potential.

While White Cane Day will be a little different this year, there will still be celebrations across the state! Continue reading below for more information on virtual White Cane Day celebrations being held in Houston, Austin, and Dallas.

Houston White Cane Day Celebrations

Houston will be hosting their 13th annual White Cane Safety Day Program and Resource Fair via Zoom. One registration grants you access to both events. The celebrations will include a special proclamation from Mayor Sylvester Turner, an overview of the history of White Cane Safety Day, guest speakers, virtual door prizes, and special performances!

Zoom Program: 10:00a.m. – 12:00 p.m.
Zoom Resource Fair: 1:00p.m. – 3:00p.m.

Don’t miss keynote speaker Tracy Minish, Mission Control Manager for NASA and the Johnson Space Center! Diagnosed with Retinitis Pigmentosa and legally blind, Tracy is a 35-year veteran of NASA’s Manned Flight Programs. He has trained astronauts and flight controllers, worked as a shuttle programmer and instructor, and much more. His story is sure to be a highlight at this year’s Houston White Cane Safety Day virtual program. Make sure to register by October 14th!

For more information, contact Benigno Aceves at [email protected].

Register for Houston's White Cane Day Celebrations

Austin White Cane Day Celebrations


Austin’s virtual White Cane Day celebration starts Wednesday, October 14th at 9:00 a.m. The event will kick off with The Spinrockers singing “Got This by Myself” and a performance of the National Anthem by a Criss Cole Rehabilitation Center student! The event will also feature pictures and video clips sent in by attendees wearing their White Cane Day t-shirts and walking in their neighborhoods with homemade signs. The keynote speaker will be University of Texas- San Antonio graduate and owner of Alyssa’s Beads for Life, Alyssa Minwell.

Watch the Austin White Cane Day Livestream


Dallas White Cane Day Celebrations

Dallas will be hosting their first-ever virtual White Cane Day celebration from 11:00 a.m. to noon on Thursday, October 15th. They will open with a proclamation from Mayor Eric Johnson, followed by a 30-minute informative panel on North Texas services supporting people with blindness. Providers include Envision Dallas, Texas Workforce solutions, Mobility Management Services, and the Dallas chapters of American Council of the Blind and National Federation of the Blind. There will also be an important update from Dallas County election on accessible voting, along with a few fun surprises you won’t want to miss!

From 11:30 to noon attendees will have the opportunity to participate in one of four panels. Organizers request you review the options below and include the option number in your RSVP:

Option #1: Tech Talk with accessible technology guru Jack Hickman. He and his collaborator will present some of the latest and greatest assistive technology available to people both legally and totally blind. Jack will help empower you to choose the best technology for your needs!

Option #2: Connect with Chelsea Nguyen to discuss grooming and appearance tips for people with vision impairments. She will give valuable advice on how to put your best foot forward!

Option #3:  Neva Fairchild with the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) will lead an important discussion on when, why, and how to disclose your disability when seeking employment.

Option #4: Staff from the Dallas County Elections department will walk you through the proper steps when using their voter machine. The machine is completely accessible for people without sight, and their tips will help you vote with confidence!

Be sure to RSVP below or by calling 214-420-9411. Identify which breakout session you wish to participate in and what number you will be calling from if you choose to participate via telephone.  Save the day and save the Zoom Link! The call in number is 1-346-248-7799,  Meeting ID: 950 0511 3086.

RSVP for Dallas White Cane Day


The Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities provides GovDelivery updates for informational purposes on a variety of disability related issues for a diverse audience. Updates may include information provided by external sources. The inclusion of this external information does not constitute an official endorsement or approval by the Committee or the Office of the Governor of any information, policy, product, or service offered by an external source.

If you would like to be removed from the Governor’s Committee e-mail distribution list, click the “Unsubscribe All” link below or click the “Manage Subscriptions” link below to update your account preferences.

WorksWonders Program Product Spotlight – Hand Sanitizer

By Blog

WorksWonders Product Spotlight

These products & more are available on TXSmartBuy, or by calling 512-451-8145.

With COVID-19 (coronavirus) activity widespread throughout much of the United States, including Texas, it is important to educate yourself on methods of prevention. It is extremely important to emphasize sanitation, and specifically important is the thorough washing of ones hands as well as the frequent use of hand sanitizer. According to the Center of Disease Control, the following steps can be followed to decrease your risk of contracting COVID-19:

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A Message from the President – COVID-19 and Beyond

By Blog

This spring, WorkQuest faced the challenge of evolving its business operations as required by the arrival of COVID-19. While navigating this unique challenge, WorkQuest maintains its intent to safeguard the daily functions of the WorksWonders Program in an effort to make sure that all operational and financial workflow processes continue without interruption. With the support of our community rehabilitation program (CRP) and WorksWonders Program customers, WorkQuest has been able to provide product and service contracts during this uncertain time, and will continue to do so in order to ensure employment opportunities are available for individuals with disabilities around the state of Texas while maintaining essential services to our customers.

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Austin Lighthouse for the Blind Honored for Employees’ Work

By Blog

On Tuesday, May 12, the Austin Lighthouse for the Blind­­ shipped its 3 millionth bottle of Purell since the onset of the COVID-19 pandemic. This significant accomplishment was acknowledged with a surprise celebration for employees at the Austin Lighthouse’s warehouse (maintaining strict social distancing and safety measures, of course). WorkQuest celebrated with the Austin Lighthouse as it was recognized for its good work by the National Industries for the Blind and the Texas Workforce Commission.

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