July 22, 2014  

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Project Promotes National Disability Employment Awareness Month

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In recognition of October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Mississippi Partnership for Employment (MSPE) project is emphasizing the 2012 theme, “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?.”

MSPE is a five-year collaborative statewide project of The University of Southern Mississippi Institute for Disability Studies, the Mississippi Council on Developmental Disabilities, and Disability Rights Mississippi with a primary focus to increase competitive employment outcomes for youth and young adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities by enhancing the collaboration of existing state education and employment service systems. To celebrate the month, MSPE is promoting a series of activities that include:  

·         Launch of a Share Your Story page to the MSPE website at www.mspeidd.org- a place for youth and young adults with disabilities can share their personal stories of wanting to work, barriers to work and even successes; 

·         Celebration of Oct. 17 as National Disability Mentoring Day with 10 youth with intellectual and other developmental disabilities participating in day long events at the Institute for Disability Studies and an end of day celebration in collaboration with Oak Grove Jr. Civitan Club with a panel of guest speakers with disabilities;

·         Work with the Mississippi ASPE chapter to establish a student group, and

·         Distribution of the 2012 employment poster which may be downloaded or ordered at http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/2012PosterEnglish.pdf.

For more information about National Disability Employment Awareness month in Mississippi or the MSPE project, contact Dr. Jerry R. Alliston at jerry.alliston@usm.eduor 601.266.5979.

National Disability Employment Month began in 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “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. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.”