Lansing, Michigan – October 30, 2015 – Michiganders with disabilities are being mentored and are participating in activities during October as part of the state’s ongoing efforts to encourage inclusive work environments and opportunities for all residents.
Gov. Rick Snyder has declared October as Investing in Abilities Month in Michigan. As part of the month’s activities, the Michigan Department of Health and Human Services recently hosted a Disability Mentoring Day aimed at young adults ages 17 to 25 and has coordinated activities through the Michigan Career & Technical Institute to raise awareness about disability employment issues.
“While October has been an excellent opportunity to highlight residents with disabilities in our workplaces, this practice does not extend to only one month of the year,” said MDHHS Director Nick Lyon. “We encourage Michigan businesses to recognize the unique and diverse perspectives and value that individuals with disabilities bring to their organizations.”
Disability mentoring is designed to bring students and job seekers with disabilities into the workplace where they can learn about various career opportunities. The initiative supports Lt. Gov. Brian Calley’s recent MI Hidden Talent tour which showcases the skills of Michiganders with disabilities who are often overlooked and highlights the opportunities for hiring Michiganders with disabilities. Disability Mentoring Day paired students and job seekers with a career professional to learn what it means to work in that particular field or occupation.
The Multicultural Coalition Committee at MCTI is raising awareness in a variety of ways to educate its staff members, students and others on disability employment issues and its commitment to an inclusive work culture. These efforts include videos, slides displayed on school monitors, display boards, handouts, and local resources via email.
MCTI provides vocational and technical training programs and supportive services needed to prepare adults with disabilities for competitive employment. Every year the MDHHS Michigan Rehabilitation Services assists more than 7,000 people with disabilities in finding competitive jobs and becoming self-sufficient.
Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about ways to promote awareness throughout the year by visiting www.dol.gov/ndeam. For more information about MCTI, visit www.michigan.gov/mdhhs/0,5885,7-339-73971_25392_40242—,00.html.
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