Tennessee recognizes Disability Employment Awareness Month

State continues efforts to assist those with disabilities obtain employment

NASHVILLE (press release)—October has been designated Disability Employment Awareness Month in Tennessee by Governor Haslam, as well as nationally, and serves to recognize the strengths, skills and capabilities of people with disabilities. This month, the Department of Human Services (DHS), and other agencies throughout the state are holding events to bring awareness to disability employment issues and the contributions of all involved.

“Expect. Employ. Empower.” is the theme of the 2014 National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Over the past year, the DHS Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program has assisted more than 2,100 people reach successful employment, while also providing services to help others accomplish the same. The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), a division within DHS, provides rehabilitation services to Tennesseans with the most significant disabilities, ranging from traumatic brain injury and cognitive impairments to blindness.

Vocational rehabilitation offices across the state as well as the seventeen Tennessee Rehabilitation Centers located in rural communities and the residential comprehensive Tennessee Rehabilitation Center in Smyrna provide numerous services to clients, including vocational training, physical or occupational therapy and transitional life skills.

“We are very excited about the contributions Tennesseans living with disabilities are making to the workforce and appreciate their perseverance,” said DHS Commissioner Raquel Hatter. “Through the workforce development provided by DHS and hard work of partners and employers, we can all make a lasting impact in their lives.”

State departments and agencies are working together to provide a system of services and supports for people with disabilities in helping them reach their employment goals. One example of these combined efforts was illustrated by the Employment First Task Force report released last month.

DHS staff members are working with businesses, partners and other state agencies across Tennessee on activities recognizing Disability Employment Awareness Month. Attached is a partial list of scheduled events.

For more information on vocational rehabilitation services visit tn.gov/humanserv/rehab/vrs.html.

East Tennessee events:

October 22 from 7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Knoxville Area Employment Consortium hosts Disability Employment Awareness Breakfast

Vallie Collins, survivor of U.S. Airways Flight #1549, that landed in New York’s Hudson River will share her experience in what has become known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

Crowne Plaza Hotel

401 West Summit Hill Drive

Knoxville, TN

Contact: Tina Jones, (865) 594-6757


October 31 from 10:00 a.m. – noon

Disability Employment Awareness Day

TN Rehabilitation Center at Maryville

1749 Triangle Park Drive

Maryville, TN


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