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Disability Employment Summit celebrates milestones and paves the way for continued progress


MONTGOMERY, Ala.  – October marks the annual celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in Alabama and across the nation.

To celebrate NDEAM, along with the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act and the 100th anniversary of the founding of Vocational Rehabilitation Services, Disability:IN Alabama, The Alabama Governor’s Committee on the Employment of People with Disabilities, and ADRS have teamed up to host the 2020 Disability Employment Summit. The theme for this year’s event is “Diversity through Inclusion.”

The summit will take place Wednesday, Oct. 28, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m. and is free to the public.

During the summit, an awards ceremony will take place at noon to recognize: Advocate of the Year, the Collaboration Award, Large Business Employee of the Year, Small Business Employee of the Year, Large Business Employer of the Year, Small Business Employer of the Year, the Public Service Award, the Student of the Year Award, and the Youth Leadership Award.

The day will begin with a welcome from Alabama Gov. Kay Ivey and ADRS Commissioner Jane Elizabeth Burdeshaw at 10 a.m., followed by a discussion titled “ADA Now and Future” from EEOC Regional Attorney Marsha Rucker at 11 a.m.

After the noon awards ceremony, Rehabilitation Services Administration’s Mark Shultz will highlight the 100th anniversary of VR. He will be joined by ADRS Assistant Commissioner Karen Jenkins and ADRS Business Relations Director Leslie Dawson, who will outline the department’s resources.

From 2 to 3 p.m., a trio of speakers will take the stage starting with Governor’s Office On Disability Deputy Director Graham Sisson. Alabama Department of Labor Secretary Fitzgerald Washington will follow along with Alabama Department of Commerce Deputy Secretary Ed Castile.

Another featured guest who will take the stage between 10 and 11 a.m., is Richard Keith Pimentel. Pimentel is one of the leading experts in North America on practical issues in leadership, disability inclusion, disability management, overcoming barriers, crises and change in the workplace, disabled veteran’s employment opportunities, job retention, and the Americans with Disabilities Amendment Act.

Pimentel has keynoted numerous conferences throughout the U.S. and Canada.

Pimentel is a senior partner in the firm of Milt Wright & Associates, Inc. for which he designs disability inclusion and disability management systems, provides keynotes, training and consultation nationwide on topics as diverse as leadership and change in the workplace.

A full-length MGM motion picture of his life story “Music Within” staring Ron Livingston was released in theaters throughout the country in the fall 2007 and is now showing on cable channels throughout the world.

To register for the summit, visit The link includes an option to list any accommodations needed.

For more information, email [email protected].



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