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October is Disability Employment Awareness Month

Published: Wednesday, Oct. 9, 2013 11:02 a.m. CDT

In October, Mosaic invites Osceola to observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month by paying tribute to the accomplishments of the men and women with disabilities whose work helps keep our community's economy strong and by reaffirming their employer's commitment to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens.

Throughout the month, many events are held across the country to recognize individuals with disabilities as contributors and the employers who recognize the importance of full inclusion in the workplace.

Communities hold special events, civic organizations welcome guest speakers to discuss equal employment opportunities and service providers like Mosaic will host activities and events to show their appreciation of their local businesses who employ individuals with disabilities.

Mosaic in South Central Iowa will be recognizing and thanking those companies in the area who employee individuals with disabilities. Locally those companies include HyVee, Astoria, Miller Products, McDonald's, The Advertiser, The Exchange and Cornerstone Suites.

This effort to educate the public about the issues related to disability and employment began in 1945 when Congress enacted Public Law 176, declaring the first week of October each year as 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. Approximately 25 years later, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

“People with disabilities must be woven into our work culture. Already, we benefit from the incredible array of talent they bring to our workplaces. But we must raise the bar, we must create the inexorable expectation that people with disabilities will contribute in every way to our economic successes. Only by nurturing this expectation and providing people with disabilities with unlimited employment opportunities, can we all benefit from their talents," said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment.

Mosaic in South Central Iowa has assisted more than 10 individuals with intellectual disabilities gain meaningful employment throughout south central Iowa.

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