Talking Books Talk

Talking Books Talk provides news and updates about the Kansas Talking Books Service (KTBS). Talking Books staff will highlight relevant announcements from KTBS and the National Library Service for the Blind and Physically Handicapped.

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Oct 16

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Posted on October 16, 2020 at 9:21 AM by Michael Lang

Kansas Talking Books recognizes October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. It celebrates the contributions of people with disabilities to our workforce and encourages creating opportunities for people of all abilities to showcase and apply their skills and talents in their work as they pursue their dreams. Employment is important because it fosters independence; human connections and community; and benefits such as health insurance.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month started in 1945 as a week-long celebration enacted by a law passed by Congress, originally called National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week, to take place during the first week of October. The word physically was dropped in 1962. It changed to a month-long recognition in 1988 as determined by Congress and became known as National Disability Awareness Month.

So Kansas Talking Books takes time this month (and throughout the year) to recognize all the contributions, impacts, skills and talents people with disabilities bring to the workforce. We encourage employers to be inclusive and spend time understanding your company’s / organization’s employment policy. In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we have provided a list of resources for patrons and employers:

Envision: This Wichita-based non-profit can help patrons with visual impairments learn to live with their vision loss with training on how to go grocery shopping, vocational training, and other aspects of everyday living.

KANSASWORKS: An organization helping Kansas employees and employers find each other and providing resources.

Ticket to Work: Free Social Security program that assists Social Security disability beneficiaries age 18 through 64 with career development and progress toward financial independence.

Job Accommodation Network: Provides free, expert guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues to ensure workplace success, as well as self-employment and entrepreneurship options for people with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act: Provides information about laws, regulations, guidelines, and standards relating to the ADA for employers and employees.

ADA National Network: Provides information, guidance, and training on how to implement the American with Disabilities Act.

Assistive Technology for Kansans (ATK): Non-profit organization helping connect people with disabilities and health conditions to assistive technology needed to live, work, and communicate safely and independently.

National Library Service for the Blind and Print Disabled: Offers a large listing of national organizations that provide information on range of issues related to employment of individuals with disabilities.

Kansas Rehabilitation Services: Offers a variety of programs to help meet the needs of Kansans with disabilities regarding employment, advocacy, everyday living and more.

U.S. Department of Labor – Office of Disability Employment Policy: Provides resources to employees on the skills they have, what they bring to the workforce and their importance. Also provides resources to employers on developing policies for inclusion, hiring employees with disabilities, etiquette guidelines, and accommodations and accessibility.