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Disability Employment Awareness Month

MCC’s Disability Employment Awareness programing will begin in October, but also be offered throughout the rest of 2021.

VIRTUAL Video & Discussion: Go Far: The Christopher Rush Story

Discussion led by Zack Arnold, Producer/Director

At the age of seven months, Christopher Rush was diagnosed with muscular dystrophy, and his parents were told he would be “no more than a dishrag, and dead by the age of two.” Christopher lived to 30, and in that time he achieved more than most able-bodied people do in a lifetime including becoming the first quadriplegic in the United States licensed as a scuba diver. He was the manager of his high school basketball team; he went to prom; he graduated from the University of Michigan with honors; and he graduated with a Juris Doctor from Wayne State University.
Shortly before his death, Chris developed a motivational program called GO FAR, a series of steps that could help guide people who wanted to achieve their goals despite the insurmountable obstacles in front of them. His mission was to share this program with those with disabilities, and by his definition, “Everyone has a disability.”
This film is Chris’ life story and a continuation of his work; it will inspire not only those with disabilities, but everyone, to follow their dreams, no matter the obstacles.
The film is narrated by actor Mark Hamill as the voice of Christopher Rush.
Date: Thursday, October 28, 2021
Time: 2-3:45 p.m. CDT
Location: Connect to Go Far: The Christopher Rush Story 
Access to the Zoom presentation is free & open to the public.


VIRTUAL LECTURE: Autism Cultural Responsiveness: Moving Towards More Successful Inclusion

discussion led by: Sara Sanders Gardner, Director, Neurodiversity Navigators Program, Bellevue College, Bellevue, WA

Gardner presents practical applications on how to interact with college students on the autism spectrum as well as how to normalize autistic students’ concerning behaviors for others. Lessons learned from the Neurodiversity Navigators program at Bellevue College will inform the conversation. We will discuss strength-based growth models, behavior management theories, and include tools you can use immediately to make a difference in the classroom and on campus.
Sara Sanders Gardner is the designer and director of Bellevue College's nationally recognized Neurodiversity Navigators program, now in its 11th year. They are lead curriculum designer and adjunct faculty for the program’s seven-course career preparation cohort series. In addition to work for the college, Sara owns Autistic at Work LLC, and contracts with Microsoft Corp, Amazon Web Services, and others to provide live, virtual, and eLearning training on the topic of neurodiversity cultural responsiveness and more worldwide. Sara is autistic and uses they/them pronouns.

Date: Tuesday, November 9
Time: 9:30 a.m. CST
Location: Connect by Zoom: Autism Cultural Responsiveness
Access to the Zoom presentation is free & open to the public.


  1. Freshen up bulletin boards in workplaces, schools, libraries or other community locations with disability information including the National Disability Employment Awareness poster
  2. Review company policies to ensure they convey a commitment to workplace culture inclusive of people with disabilities.
  3. Conduct training for supervisors to ensure they understand their role in fostering an inclusive workplace culture.
  4. Reinforce a commitment to an inclusive workplace through disability training or informal educational events.
  5. Issue a press release to local media to announce involvement in NDEAM.
  6. Participate in Disability Mentoring Day
  7. Incorporate NDEAM into accessible social media including the hashtag #NDEAM
  8. Establish an Employee Resource Group or highlight existing groups that offer employees an opportunity to connect and receive support from others with similar backgrounds or interests.
  9. Hold discussions on the topic of disability employment with students, particularly those considering career options and learning about the world of work.
  10. Hold an assembly addressing the topic of disability employment
  11. Educate about disability history.
  12. Train front line staff to use knowledge, skills and abilities to effectively serve those with disabilities
  13. Engage student leaders to include NDEAN content in their activities.
  14. Include timely and fresh NDEAM content in magazines or newsletters.
  15. Post the NDEAM link on websites to demonstrate commitment to advancing disability employment.
  16. Solicit an NDEAM proclamation from the mayor, governor or other officials.
  17. Sponsor an informal seminar or panel presentation for local employers on the topic of disability employment and the benefits of a disability-inclusive workplace.
  18. Reach out to local media to highlight NDEAM programming.
  19. Use the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) to identify qualified, pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities.
  20. Receive free, confidential and expert one-on-one guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN).
  21. Review the accessibility of the technical side of an organization's recruiting operations with assistance from the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) developed TalentWorks.
  22. Expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities by joining a business organization committed to increasing the employment of people with disabilities.
  23. Foster inclusive internship programs.
  24. share the working works PSA
  25. Share Disability Employment's BECAUSE PSA to instill the expectation of employment in young people with disabilities.

     26. Share the “I Can” PSA

     27.Share the “Who I Am” PSA

     28.Sharpen workplace readiness skills using the "Skills to Pay the Bills: Mastering Soft Skills for Workplace Success" series

  1. Proactively recruit people with disabilities
  2. Gain knowledge about the importance of accessible technology to the employment and education of people with disabilities.
  3. Subscribe to the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s News Brief

disability employment awareness Resources

Presidential Proclamation on National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2021
US department of Labor’s 2021 National Disability Employment Month Celebration
5 Tips for ADA Compliant Design
Disability History Museum
This site promotes understanding about the historical experience of people with disabilities by recovering, chronicling, and interpreting their stories. The site’s library contains document and visual stills collections.
How to Respect People with Disabilities
Learning the proper way to act and speak around someone with a disability may not be as intuitive as you may think. Oftentimes, there are ways of speaking and behaving which may be very disrespectful to the person with a disability, causing them annoyance, anger, or frustration. Rather than possibly causing a problem, learn the best way to act and talk, so as to respect people with disabilities.
ADA National Network
Disability Rights Laws in Public Primary and Secondary Education: How Do They Relate?
Disability Social History Project
This resource is a community history project that provides information about famous
activists in the disability movement, a disability history timeline, and related information.
EDGE - Education for Disability and Gender Equity
This is a research and development project to create a website, CD, and teacher's guides that will address the need for gender and disability sensitive high school educational materials.
Journal of Teaching Disability Studies
Designed for those seeking information about resources, assignments and course syllabi in the development of disability studies courses.
Disability Studies Quarterly—the first journal in the field of disability studies
The impact of Disability Studies curriculum on education professionals' perspectives and practice: Implications for education, social justice, and social change
Disability Awareness Class Activity Lesson Plans
(designed for children, but some ideas may be adaptable to adult learning) This is a lesson center for disability awareness class activity lesson plans. As classrooms become more inclusive, it's important for every student to be welcomed and treated with respect. The goal of this resource center is to provide teachers with lesson plan ideas that will help students better understand what it's like to live with different disabilities.
Strategies for Successfully Including People with Disabilities in Health Department Programs, Plans, and Service
Meeting the Needs of a Student with Disability (Australian resource)

The following points should be considered when working with students with a disability: 

  • students with disability may also be gifted and talented and/or have English as an additional language and/or dialect. In some instances, a student may require support in more than one element of diversity

  • students with disability can achieve educational standards commensurate with their peers

  • students with disability who require adjustment/s to one learning area may not require the same adjustment/s to another learning area

  • not all students with a disability require adjustments to all dimensions of the curriculum

  • students with the same category of disability do not always require the same adjustments 

  • students with disability may require different levels of adjustment over time to reach their potential

  • ongoing formative assessment, particularly pre-assessment, is critical to ensure that learning area content and adjustments align with student needs.

Strategies for Working with People who have Disabilities

There are many ways that disabilities can affect the ability to perform effectively on the job. Following these simple suggestions will help people with disabilities to fully participate in work-based learning experiences.

Administration for Community Living
Employment Resources for People with Disabilities and Their Families

University of Washington
Tips for Engaging with Differing Disabilities

Participation for all programs is free and open to the public.

Contact: for more information.
Additional International/Intercultural Education virtual programming can be found on Youtube.

ACCOMMODATIONS:  Audience members requiring accommodations due to a disability must contact Barbara Velazquez,, 531-622-2253 at least two weeks prior to the program.