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PRESS RELEASE / ANNOUNCEMENTS Tuesday, October 7, 2014

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness month. Independent Living Resource Center (ILRC), Santa Barbara is organizing several events to highlight the benefits to employers of a diversified workforce while involving youth with disabilities in the real world of work.

ILRC’s Community Organizer, Jacob Lesner-Buxton is heading up a month long project to pair 5 to 10 students with disabilities with 5 to 10 employers for a two-hour ‘job shadowing’ experience. ILRC staff will match students with employers as well as coordinate the job-shadowing experience. One employer who agreed to have a student with a disability job shadow during her workday to raise awareness about employment for people with disabilities is Vice Mayor Cathy Murillo. According to Lesner-Buxton, ILRC is extremely pleased to have the support of the Vice Mayor on this project since unemployment in the disability community hovers around 70% nationally.

The U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) established the October tribute to raise awareness about employing people with disabilities and to celebrate their many and varied contributions to America’s workforce.

ODEP Assistant Secretary, Kathleen Martinez, wrote that this year’s campaign theme centers around three words…”Expect, Employ, Empower”…to urge communities to have higher expectations for our youth with disabilities and clearly conveying that an integrated and inclusive workplace benefits everyone.

For more information and to participate in ILRCs Job Shadowing program, contact Jacob Lesner-Buxton, jlesner@ilrc-trico.org

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