I am pleased to announce that MVLE will participate 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. This year's theme is "InclusionWorks."
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.
Reflecting this year's theme, throughout the month, MVLE will be engaging in a variety of activities to educate our community and business partners on disability employment issues and our commitment to an inclusive work culture. These efforts include workplace diversity presentations from Booz Allen Hamilton; our Annual Dinner & Awards Celebration on Tuesday, Oct. 18; and recognition of employment partners across our region.
MVLE’s success in creating meaningful employment opportunities is directly tied to our network of partners across our community. Our ability to link community and business is critical to ensuring continued growth not only for MVLE and our individuals, but for our region as a whole. MVLE is honored to work with amazing partners across our Springfield community, including Embassy Suites Springfield, Connection Newspapers, Parkway Express, Allegra Marketing*Print*Mail, Greenspring and the Greater Springfield Chamber of Commerce, to promote inclusive employment and community experiences.
April Pinch-Keeler has been a dedicated advocate for individuals with disabilities for more than 30 years. April has worked with MVLE, Inc. for 20 years and currently serves as its president & CEO.