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2015 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

September 16, 2015

2015 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) Events

The National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a nationwide campaign held throughout the month of October that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities, past and present.  Not only does it recognize the contributions of people with disabilities this event also recognizes employers or businesses who employ people with disabilities.  The theme for this year is, "My Disability is One Part of Who I am." 

In fact, Governor Dennis Daugaard has proclaimed that October be a time where all citizens of South Dakota observe the month by hosting and supporting initiatives and activities supporting and promote the employment opportunities for people with disabilities.  Therefore, there are several communities throughout the state that host NDEAM events throughout the month.  To learn more about events located nearest you please read below for further details and registration information.

October 1st – Sioux Falls. A breakfast event will be held at 7:30 am at the Sanford Research Center (2301 E. 60th Street North). The event will feature an employer/expert panel focusing on the successes and challenges of hiring people with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act, and accommodations in the workplace. For more information, contact Vicki Nelson at (605) 367-5330 or Julie Briggs at (605) 367-5260. 
 
October 6th – Milbank.  An event will be held at 5:30 pm at the Milbank Community Center (East Hwy 12). The evening will start with a meal. The event will also include recognition of the 2015 Milbank NDEAM award recipients. Jessie Saperstein, as the keynote speaker will address disability, diversity, overcoming barriers, realizing and achieving one’s potential. For more information, contact Brigett Wookey at (605) 882-5120. 
 
October 7th – Brookings. Jessie Saperstein will present at a luncheon to be held at the Swiftel Center 11:45 am – 1:00 pm in partnership with the Brookings Area Human Resource Association (BAHRA) and Women in Leadership and Learning (WILL). Jessie will address disability, diversity, overcoming barriers, realizing and achieving one’s potential. For more information, contact Sylvia Buboltz at (605) 688-4282 or Matt Simet at (605) 695-8471.
 
October 7th – Eagle Butte. Oun’iyekiyapi Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Cheyenne River Sioux Tribe is hosting an event (10:45 am – 2:00 pm) at the Old Agency Building in Eagle Butte. The event will include a walk, luncheon, speaker, and sharing of information by Tribal and state agencies on available programs and services. For more information, contact Lyle Cook at (605) 964-4400.
 
October 7th – Pierre/Ft. Pierre. (8:30 am – 10:00 am) Kathleen Barrow from Jackson Lewis P.C. Law Firm will present at the Capitol University Center (925 East Sioux Avenue). Kathleen will help employers learn how to focus on their employees’ abilities rather than disabilities and outline employers legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Representatives from The Right Turn, Department of Labor and Regulation, and the Department of Human Services/Divisions of Vocational Rehabilitation Services and Service to the Blind and Visually Impaired will share information and resources. For more information, contact Cindy Ryan at (605) 773-3315. 
 
October 8th – Aberdeen. (7:30 am – 10:00 am) Kathleen Barrow from Jackson Lewis P.C. Law Firm will present at the AmericInn (301 Centennial Street South). Kathleen will help employers learn how to focus on their employees’ abilities rather than disabilities and outline employers legal obligations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The program will provide employers with an explanation of the reasonable accommodation process and how to coordinate this with certain protected leaves of absences. The event will also include a showing of the video “People with Disabilities WORK” followed with a panel discussion. For more information, contact Laura Stoltenburg, at (605) 626-2398.
 
October 8th – Sisseton.  This event will begin with dinner at 6:00 pm at the Sisseton City Hall, Community Room (406 2nd Avenue West). Sisseton is collaborating with Brookings, Madison and Milbank. It will host Jessie Saperstein, as the featured speaker. He will address disability, diversity, overcoming barriers, realizing and achieving one’s potential and it will offer an opportunity to promote awareness and broaden the spectrum of creating more employment opportunities for all individuals with disabilities living in rural communities. For more information, contact Rachael Johnson at (605) 698-7445.
 
October 9th – Madison. (9:00 am – 10:00 am) Jesse Saperstein will present at the Madison High School (800 NE 9th Street) to students, teachers, and members of the general public. Jesse has been diagnosed with Autism spectrum disorder and advocates in schools to reduce bullying. Jessie has a unique perspective on the topic and has worked hard to overcome obstacles in his life particularly related to social interactions. He uses humor and personal experience to tell his story and how he overcame adversity in order to become successful in his career. His struggles resonate with many generations, which inspire acceptance and understanding to those who hear him speak. For more information, contact Shaun Erschens at (605) 688-4280.
 
October 21st – Mitchell. (8:30 am – 11:30 am) Maria Flores, Program Manager, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will present at Mitchell Technical Institute, Amphitheater (1800 E. Spruce Street). Maria Flores is a 20+ year veteran of EEOC, and she will share information on EEOC’s responsibilities, employment discrimination trends, and ways for organizations to be proactive in hiring and retaining qualified individuals with disabilities. She will also discuss discrimination charge processing procedures, including mediation, new initiatives and other hot employment topics. For more information, contact Jessica Sehnert at (605) 995-8072.
 
October 21st - Rapid City. (7:30 am – 9:30 am) The Workforce Diversity Network team and Rapid City SHRM will host an event at the Holiday Inn (505 North Street). The morning will begin with registration and networking, having representatives from disability related organizations present to share information on available services. An employment initiative video will be shown followed by Joe Dresser and Kathleen Barrow of Jackson Lewis presenting on “Disability in the Work Place – At Work It’s What People Can Do That Matters”. An awards program will also be held to recognize employers who have hired qualified individuals with disabilities. For more information, contact Catie Greseth at (605) 787-2590.
Event information: http://ftw.sd-ccd.org/media/ftwsd-ccdorg/NDEAM%20flyer%20Rapid%20City%202015.pdfhttp://ftw.sd-ccd.org/media/ftwsd-ccdorg/NDEAM%20flyer%20Rapid%20City%202015.pdf
 
October 22nd – Watertown. (11:30 am – 1:30 pm) A luncheon will be held at the County Fair Banquet Hall (14 2nd Street NE). Annette and Tyler Gamber are the keynote speakers. Annette is a business owner who has worked with vocational rehabilitation services and other providers in recruiting and hiring qualified individuals for various positions. Tyler is an individual with a disability who has employment experience and can speak to the benefits of being employed.  For more information, contact Jessica Fischer at (605) 882-5150.
 
October 22nd – Yankton. (11:30 am – 1:30 pm) Maria Flores, Program Manager, US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), will present at Minerva’s Convention Center (1607 SD Hwy 50). Maria Flores is a 20+ year veteran of EEOC and she will share information on EEOC’s responsibilities, employment discrimination trends, and ways for organizations to be proactive in hiring and retaining qualified people with disabilities.  She will also discuss discrimination charge processing procedures, including mediation, new initiatives and other hot employment topics. For more information, contact Jennifer Trenhaile at (605) 668-3050.
 
October 28th – Mobridge.  A lunch and learn event will be held on October 28th at Pizza Ranch at Noon. Representatives from the Division of Rehabilitation Services will inform attendees about the Ability for Hire campaign and how VR services can assist them in meeting workforce needs. Local employers who have been strong supporters of employing people with disabilities will also be recognized at this event. The November Chamber Business After Hours will be sponsored by NDEAM collaboration partners. The date and location of this event is to be determined soon. This event will allow information to be shared on employing individuals with disabilities and highlight services through DRS and SBVI. For more information, contact Corinna Alander at (605) 626-2398.

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