DARS Presents Disability Employment Awards

Published 2:20 pm Tuesday, December 18, 2012

The Farmville office of the Virginia Department for Aging and Rehabilitative Services is honoring area employers and individuals for their outstanding commitment to hiring and supporting people with disabilities in the workplace.

The event at Longwood University held on Oct. 23 was part of a series of activities planned across Virginia in celebration of October as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Jane Schemer, executive director of the Southside Virginia Family YMCA, was the keynote speaker. The event included presentations from former DARS clients, who spoke about their experiences with the agency and the support they received in achieving their employment goals.

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“Almost every week, I hear that another of our consumers has successfully joined Virginia's workforce through one of our champions of disability employment,” DARS Commissioner Jim Roth rock said. “Each October, we take the opportunity to thank these champions and encourage other employers to learn about the abilities of our consumers, the support and information we may be able to provide them, and the potential for our successful collaboration to realize a true 'Commonwealth of Opportunity' for all Virginians.”

This year's regional Disability Employment Champions Award recipients include: Southside Virginia Family YMCA, Farmville; Crossroads Community Services Board, Farmville; Farmville Area Chamber of Commerce; Infant and Toddler Connection at Longwood University; and Jessica Manley, Kavonda Dean-Jordan and Zachariah Kowalski.

This year's theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month was “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can You Do?” Learn more about this national campaign to raise awareness about disability employment issues and the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities online at www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/.