Ozark Independent Living – Advocating for Disability Awareness

Ozark Independent Living (OIL) is celebrating October as Disability Awareness Month, joining with others in the community to recognize that having a disability doesn’t define an individual; it’s only one part of who a person is. At the national level, October is recognized as Disability Employment Awareness Month, with the purpose being to educate about disability employment issues and to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.”

“Ozark Independent Living is proud to celebrate Disability Awareness Month,” said OIL Marketing Specialist Terry Hampton. “One of OIL’s core services is to advocate for those with disabilities and for the independent living movement. Pursuant to that, we want to help spread the important message that the perspective of individuals with disabilities must be valued and respected. Inclusion in the community at all levels, including the workforce, is a big win for everyone.”

Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages by visiting www.dol.gov/ndeam. Businesses interested in learning more about the benefits of hiring individuals with disabilities should call the Missouri Department of Vocational Rehabilitation West Plains office, 256-8294. This office serves seven counties in south-central Missouri. Preferred Family Healthcare, 257-1545, also provides employer and employee services.

As one of 22 Centers for Independent Living in the State of Missouri, OIL serves as a disability resource center for a seven-county region. For more information about OIL, visit the website ozarkcil.com, call 256-8714 or follow on Facebook.