Erie County Office for the Disabled, Partners Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Modified: October 25, 2016 10:05am

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Representatives of the Erie County Office for the Disabled were joined recently by their counterparts from Adult Career and Continuing Education Services-Vocational Rehabilitation (“ACCES-VR”) and the NYS Office of Children and family Services’ Commission for the Blind and Visually Handicapped (“CBVH”) to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month with a luncheon recognizing ten local businesses for the work they do in hiring and retaining people with disabilities. The luncheon was held at the Columns banquet facility in Elma.

“People with disabilities are an essential component of a diverse workforce and bring unique and irreplaceable skills and talents to the workplace,” said Frank Cammarata, Executive Director of the Office for the Disabled. “Today we are recognizing the local employers who understand the importance of what these employees have to offer and include them as part of a diverse and productive workforce. Diversity and opportunity are important, and we thank these employers for helping to build a more inclusive Erie County workforce that represents all people.”

Cammarata presented certificates of appreciation from Erie County Executive Mark C. Poloncarz to each business present at the luncheon. Included were Atlas Linen Services DBA Clarus Linens, Uncle Joe’s Diner, The Resource Center, Seneca Niagara Resort and Casino, Held’s Janitorial, Dash’s Market, Alphabet Farm Day Care, Capital Building Services Group, the Boys and Girls Club of Buffalo, and Barnes and Noble booksellers.

National Disability Employment Awareness month began in 1945 when Congress declared and President Truman approved the first week in October as "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." The word “physically” was removed in 1962 to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1954, Congress passed Vocational Rehabilitation Amendments that helped thousands of individuals find work or return to work with some vocational assistance. Social Security Disability Insurance (“SSDI”) was provided by Congress to workers with disabilities in 1956, and was extended to the dependents of workers with disabilities two years later.

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