Disability Employment Awareness Month honors three Hawaii employers

University of Hawaiʻi at Mānoa
Charmaine Crockett, 956-7539
Center on Disability Studies
Posted: Oct 12, 2007

Three organizations will receive awards from the UH Mānoa‘s Center on Disability Studies (CDS) for their outstanding support for employment of Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders with disabilities. Recipients of the awards, to be presented in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, are Communications Pacific, the Hale Koa Hotel, and Kaiser Permanente. Hire Abilities-Hawai‘i, a project of the CDS, will also be honored.

"Over 60% of persons with disabilities who are able to work are unemployed. These companies are changing that," says Robert Stodden, Director of the CDS.

The awards will be presented on Wednesday, October 17th at 5:30 p.m. at the Honolulu Design Center, in connection with its Pacific Rim CinemaNights Series. The event will include films, awards, pupus and no-host bar. RSVP is required.

The event will premiere Abilities at Work, a film documentary directed by Sara Banks and produced by the UH‘s National Technical Assistance Center. The film features four stories of persons with disabilities who have successful lives and careers. "We need to open more economic doors for persons with disabilities," said Banks. "I hope this video will help that process."

Also showing will be: TALK, a UK short by David Mansell which challenges common preconceptions of disability in an interesting and provocative way; and award-winning Thumbs Down To Pity by Benjamin Snow, an acerbic and humorous request to Hollywood to excise this emotion from their disability treatments.

Due to lack of exposure, often people cannot appreciate the employment barriers faced by persons with disabilities. The Center on Disability Studies has taken a lead in promoting the month with an island-wide City Bus advertising campaign: "The New workforce: Inclusive and Innovative".

On October 17th, students in the CDS graduate certificate program have connected mentors and mentees together for National Disability Mentoring Day. This is an opportunity for job-seekers and students with all types of disabilities to gain insight into career options by spending part of their day in the local business or agency "shadowing" volunteer mentors as they go through a normal day on the job.

For more information and for RSVP please call 956-7539 or email cccrocke@hawaii.edu

A research unit in the UH Mānoa College of Education, CDS works to accomplish its mission to support the quality of life, community inclusion, and self-determination of all persons with disabilities and their families through education, training, service, research, evaluation, and dissemination activities. July 1, 2007 marks the beginning of its 20th year and the starting point for a year of celebration. Monthly events are being planned to celebrate the many thousands of people with disabilities and their families across the state of Hawaiʻi and the Pacific Basin who have been touched in different ways by the initiative and the projects that CDS has undertaken during its 20 years. For information about the Center on Disability Studies‘ 20th anniversary, contact cccrocke@hawaii.edu
or visit the Center‘s website at www.cds.hawaii.edu

Disability Employment Awareness Month is celebrated every October throughout the United States. NDEAM began in 1945 when Congress set aside the first week of October as "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed from the title to recognize the employment needs of Americans with all types of disabilities. During 1988, Congress extended the week-long observance to cover the entire month of October and changed its name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month."


For more information, visit: http://www.cds.hawaii.edu