Held every October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a fitting time to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The 2022 NDEAM theme is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.”
NDEAM is led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), but its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. The Campaign for Disability Employment encourages organizations of all sizes and in all industries to participate. In South Florida, Miami-Dade County is getting in the action. As part of the ongoing celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Miami-Dade County program is in place and designed to remove barriers to employment and improve the participation of persons with disabilities in the county’s employment programs.
The program, spearheaded by the Human Rights and Fair Employment Practices Division (HRFEP) of the Human Resources Department, reaffirms Miami-Dade County’s ongoing commitment to promoting diversity, inclusion, equality, respect, fairness, and accountability.
“Miami-Dade County is proud to walk the walk, in terms of inclusion, and open the door to even more people who want to serve their community,” said Miami-Dade County Mayor Daniella Levine Cava. “Our county is so full of talented people of different abilities. EmployABILITY 305 will help attract them. By making paid internships available, targeting job recruitment, and ensuring that we have support systems and inclusive policies in place, we can create a county workforce that more closely reflects our residents.”
Individuals with disabilities will be able to apply for paid internship opportunities with the county where they can network, receive work-related references, and develop marketable skills. This internship will provide qualified individuals with disabilities employment opportunities that will lead to sustainable, meaningful, unsubsidized employment.
Interns who participate in the program will partake in training courses developed by HRFEP, in which they will learn skills to assist them to work in a professional environment with effective communication techniques.
“This is a perfect example of how Miami-Dade is leading the conversation in both workforce development and inclusion,” said Commissioner Raquel Regalado, who sponsored the resolution creating the program. “We are stronger as a county and as a community when we actively recruit and retain people of all abilities.”
HRFEP also recently launched the Disability Awareness Training course for county employees. This course helps tackle the misconceptions about individuals with disabilities. Employees will learn about the culture and special needs of different disabilities and how to interact and communicate with people with disabilities in a professional setting, promoting awareness, respect, good communication, and sensitivity.
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