Goodwill® Recognizes Vital Contributions Of Workers With Disabilities

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Rockville, MD — Goodwill recognizes and commemorates National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) this October and urges employers to hire people with disabilities. This year’s theme for NDEAM, administered by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, is “#InclusionWorks,” which underscores the important role played by workers with disabilities in enhancing workplace diversity.
“Throughout its history, Goodwill and its independent member organizations have sought to meet the needs of all job seekers,” said Jim Gibbons, president and CEO of Goodwill Industries International. “To this day, Goodwill organizations offer programs for youth, seniors, veterans and people with disabilities to reach their full potential through education, skills training and the power of work.”
NDEAM’s origins date back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week of October as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” the name was changed in 1962 and the period of recognition was extended to the full month of October in 1988.
For 114 years, Goodwill organizations have worked to support job seekers with disabilities and specialized circumstances through placement, training and other employment efforts. Amy Ofenbeck, a former TV news anchor and reporter, collapsed after suffering a brain aneurysm. She spent weeks in the hospital undergoing a total of eight brain and spinal surgeries, followed by weeks of rehabilitation. She also had to have a vocal cord implant because the bleed paralyzed a vocal cord leaving her without a voice After enduring severe short term memory loss and the stress of her job, she decided to go on disability. She was referred to Goodwill Industries of Southwest Florida (Fort Myers, FL) where she applied and earned a part-time job in the local Goodwill organization’s public relations department. She now works in the Goodwill’s e-commerce department, where she posts items for sale on shopgoodwill.com®, Goodwill’s internet auction website. Due to her great progress and accomplishments in overcoming challenges, the local Goodwill organization named her its Achiever of the Year. In addition, she has co-written a book called Brain Matters: A True Story of Survival about her experience. To learn more about Amy’s story, visit: /blog/my-story/amy-ofenbeck/
An employment resource for people with disabilities for decades, Goodwill’s career services benefited more than more than 316,000 people with disabilities in 2015 alone. For more information about how your shopping and donations help Goodwill organizations support employees with disabilities in obtaining employment, visit our website at www.goodwill.org.