By Elizabeth Glavish
In recognition of our mission to train and place individuals with developmental disabilities into gainful employment, Centerforce will be recognized by local restaurants in a series of benefit events throughout the month of October. These events will be held every Thursday evening throughout the month and are part of our Dine Out for Disabilities event series celebrating the 70th annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
“Centerforce is proud to honor our organization’s 47 year heritage of service to this community by inviting our neighbors to celebrate employment equality with us this October,” stated Executive Director, Debby Graham, “By dining out with us, you are supporting the legacy of those individuals who fought to earn employees with disabilities a place in the workforce and the ability to foster their own independence.”
NDEAM is a national campaign celebrated every October that recognizes the many contributions employees with disabilities provide to the American workforce and raises awareness about disability employment issues. The commemorative campaign began in 1945, when Congress enacted a law designating the first week of October as, “National Employ The Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, “Physically” was removed from the name to recognize all persons with disabilities. Congress then voted to expand the week-long celebration to span all of October in 1988, updating the name again to National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
The theme of this year’s NDEAM campaign, “My Disability is One Part of Who I Am,” is mirrored by Centerforce’s own mission, which is to promote self-sufficiency for individuals and families of all abilities through education, employment, and community living. The “Dine Out for Disabilities” events are a way for the organization to invite members of the community to learn about individuals with disabilities. and to help spread the message that disabled does not mean dependent.
“The programs and services provided by Centerforce are vital to helping individuals with developmental disabilities grow and thrive, and with focused training and gainful employment, these individuals have contributed greatly to the greater community good,” added Graham. “Most importantly, we are able to provide these individuals an opportunity to have a stake in their own future, which has enabled them to experience more freedom and a sense of fulfillment. Our ambition this October is to continue to promote understanding and awareness for our cause, as well as celebrate the triumphs of our clients with the community at large.”
For this year’s “Dine Out For Disabilities” events, Centerforce will be partnering with several well-known local eateries including Harmon Brewing Company, The Bar Bistro, The Tides Tavern, and The Social Bar & Grill. Over the course of the month, each of these restaurant locations will recognize the Centerforce cause by hosting Centerforce clients and supporters as we celebrate NDEAM. In addition to learning more about the Centerforce mission, every patron that attends these events will also have a chance to enter a contest to win two round trip tickets from Alaska Airlines.
For a complete event schedule, please visit Centerforce’s website.