With the arrival of October, we are commemorating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). NDEAM recognizes the wide variety of contributions of America’s workers with disabilities—past and present—and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices. The theme for NDEAM 2022, “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation,” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement, as we continue to recover from the COVID-19 pandemic.
And with that, we'd love to introduce you to DSC's Employment Services! DSC’s Employment Services encompasses a broad range of services and programming, which equips adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities with skills they need to find and maintain gainful employment. One of the overarching goals is to ensure people with disabilities find jobs with competitive wages, meaning no less than minimum wage.
The support received and needed for success varies greatly from person to person. DSC's Employment Services offers supports for employment, as well as skills training, volunteer opportunities, job exploration, and community employment to promote independence, economic self-sufficiency, and personal satisfaction. Opportunities are customized for each person’s individual interests, in addition to their unique talents and abilities.
Employment Specialists work individually with people seeking employment, as well as employers in Champaign County. Their role is to find appropriate job matches for the candidate and employers alike. Employment Specialists receive 40 hours of DSP (Direct Support Professional) training, in addition to Marc Gold, Griffin-Hammis Customized Employment training, and other training directly related to disability-employment.
Also housed within DSC’s Employment Services is LEAP (Leaders in Employing All People). In collaboration with Community Choices, a family cooperative which supports adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities living in the community, and funded by the Champaign County Developmental Disabilities Board, LEAP is a training opportunity for businesses to learn about the benefits of disability employment and the services available to them and their employees through local agencies like DSC.
DSC has established relationships with many employers throughout the community, and we applaud their desire to employ people with disabilities.
The federal effort to recognize people with disabilities began in 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October to be “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” The word “physically” was dropped in 1962 to include individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week and christened the month of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
If you are a local employer interested in Employment Services, you can learn more on our website: https://www.dsc-illinois.org/programs_services/employment-services/
For more information about DSC services, please contact Lori Wachtel at firstname.lastname@example.org or (217) 356-9176.