ARC Broward, a not-for-profit human services organization dedicated to providing services to children and adults with developmental disabilities, and those with various other life challenges, announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. Throughout the month of October, and all year long, ARC Broward will be engaging in a variety of activities to continue to educate its stakeholders and the community-at-large about the benefits of employing individuals with disabilities and the role the organization plays in fostering a disability-friendly work culture in the community. These efforts include a free educational seminar for local employers, free job fair for individuals with disabilities looking for employment and publicly highlighting employment success stories. Broward County School Board Member Robin Bartleman will serve as the educational seminar keynote speaker. Other notable seminar speakers include: Douglas Eaton of Eaton Financial Group, Cathy M. Stutin of Fisher & Phillips, LLP, and Carolina Urrechega of Walgreens. The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month. “We all have a role to play in — and benefit to gain from — increasing opportunities for meaningful employment for people with disabilities. This year’s theme encapsulates this in three powerful words. It conveys that advancing disability employment is about much more than just hiring. It’s about creating a continuum of inclusion. And the first step on this continuum is expectation,” said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy when announcing this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, which is “Expect. Employ. Empower.” “We have evolved to a place where employers realize more than ever, the value of hiring individuals with disabilities,” said ARC Broward President/CEO Dennis Haas, Esq. “A strong workforce is one inclusive of the skills and talents of all individuals, including people with disabilities. ARC Broward provides the supports and services that help make this a reality.” ARC Broward assists individuals with disabilities obtain and maintain employment through many of its programs, including the ARC Broward Center for Financial Stability, funded by the United Way of Broward County. The Center provides services to help individuals with disabilities obtain and maintain employment, complete post-secondary education or occupational skills training and increase their knowledge of financial stability concepts and behaviors. Long-term engagement in these services ultimately allows participants to earn, keep and grow assets while remaining employed, out of poverty and achieving self-sufficiency. ARC Broward is also hosting its second annual educational seminar entitled, “Dispelling Myths and Making Disabilities Work for You,” to help educate local employers about untapped resources that can enhance their businesses and welcome individuals with disabilities into the workplace. The seminar provides employers with information about the return on investment including certain tax benefits, dispelling myths and answering questions about hiring individuals with disabilities. It will also include success stories from businesses that have hired individuals with disabilities. The seminar will be held at ARC Broward’s Regional campus in Sunrise, Florida on Thursday, October 23 from 8:30 to 11:30 a.m. Immediately following the seminar, a job fair will take place from 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m. The job fair will give local businesses and individuals with disabilities searching for employment the opportunity to connect. To rsvp online to ARC Broward’s “Dispelling Myths and Making Disabilities Work for You” educational seminar, please visit www.arcbroward.com. For more information about ARC Broward’s Center for Financial Stability, please contact Devika Ramkissoon at firstname.lastname@example.org. If your business would like to participate in the ARC Broward Center for Financial Stability job fair, please contact Melissa Gousse at email@example.com or call (954) 746-9400 ext. 3312. For more information about ARC Broward, please visit www.arcbroward.com. Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its message during October and throughout the year by visiting the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy website at www.dol.gov/odep/. ABOUT ARC BROWARDIncorporated in 1956, ARC Broward is a nationally accredited, private, 501(c)(3) not-for-profit organization providing services to children and adults with autism, Down syndrome, and other developmental disabilities, as well as those with various life challenges. ARC Broward operates three “mission-based” enterprises including the ARC Broward Learning Institute, ARC Broward Culinary Institute and ARC Broward Electronics Recycling Services and provides services through 21 programs in 10 locations across Broward County. By working hand in hand with families, guardians, businesses, civic organizations, donors and funders, encouragement and opportunities that create life-changing outcomes are provided so that people with developmental disabilities and other challenges can live, learn, work and play in their communities. To learn more or to donate visit www.arcbroward.com or call 954-746-9400. Follow us on Facebook and Twitter.