Friday October 9, 2015
October is National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month, commemorated across the US. This year happens to be the 70th anniversary of the commemoration, which makes this month a special time to observe what has been achieved. At many events, recognition will be given to the people who fought for better laws, demanded better treatment, and overcame ignorance of and indifference to developmental disabilities.
Despite all that people with disabilities contribute to society and the workplace, they are still underemployed, they still face discrimination by employers, and they have limited access to skills training. But, fortunately those things are changing, due in part to the efforts of various city governments and companies such as AMS Fulfillment.
A recent event, attended by AMS CEO, Ken Wiseman, highlighted the importance and the benefit of hiring persons with disabilities. Like many other cities across America, the Santa Clarita Valley Mayor’s Committee for Employment of Individuals with Disabilities celebrated National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month. As part of the celebration, the SCV Mayor’s Committee held an Employer Recognition Event that honored employers who not only hire people with disabilities, but know first-hand how valuable these employees are.
AMS Fulfillment was invited to attend this recognition event due to their longstanding involvement with Pleasantview Industries & New Horizons. Some years ago AMS initiated a program with Pleasantview Industries, which has as their mission providing employment opportunities to Developmentally Disabled Adults. Ken Wiseman spoke about how pleased AMS was to begin working with the program: “Our first recruit from Pleasantview so warmed the hearts of our staff with his dedication, hard work and positive spirit, that AMS now employs 18 adults from the program.”
National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month dates back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” The word “physically” was deleted in 1962 to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities. The week was expanded to a month by Congress in 1988 and its name was also changed to NDEAM. When the Office of Disability Employment Policy was created in 2001, it was given responsibility for NDEAM, including selection of its annual theme. The official theme for the observance this October is: “My Disability Is One Part of Who I Am.”
AMS Fulfillment can certainly verify the truth of that statement, knowing that their employees with disabilities are people first, and the disability is just one part of who they are.
Regarding the Employer Recognition Event, Ken expressed his support and gratitude for the work of the SCV Mayor’s Committee, and his pleasure at being in the company of other employers who share the same heartfelt commitment to employing people with disabilities: “Some decisions are key to good business, and others are key to the heart. Our decision to work with these organizations are key to both.”
Picture: Ken Wiseman, AMS CEO, with The Mayor’s Committee returning keynote speaker, actor Robert David Hall, who for the past 16 seasons has starred as Dr. Al Robbins, medical examiner on “CSI: Crime Scene Investigations.” Mr. Hall told the inspirational story of his journey through a near fatal accident, recovery, dealing with disability issues, and his life today.
Author: Ida Lawrence