This October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month; a special time for jobseekers and employees with disabilities of all kinds, employers and agencies and organizations to raise awareness about working Americans with disabilities, and the services and support available within their communities.
In light of this special month of awareness, EmployAble, a program of Jewish Family & Children’s Service offered through the Career Development Center, was recognized yesterday by Pittsburgh City Council. April Artz, EmployAble program coordinator, accepted a proclamation sponsored by Councilman Corey O’Connor, honoring the program’s work in helping jobseekers with autism and other mental health diagnoses and challenges find and retain employment in the Pittsburgh region. The proclamation declared Tuesday, October 13, 2015 as “EmployAble Day” in the City of Pittsburgh.
Additionally last month, the EmployAble program was honored by the Pittsburgh Business Times as one of their 2015 Health Care Heroes in the category of Health Care Innovation. Health Care Heroes celebrates the people and organizations in Pittsburgh who are instrumental in making our region one of the premier health care centers in the world.
“We are so proud of EmployAble and the recent recognition we’ve received for our program’s work and success,” said Sarah Welch, director of the Career Development Center. “EmployAble is unlike any other program in this region. It strives to work closely with individuals who have a mental health or autism diagnosis, as well as the organizations that employ them, to create meaningful and successful job placements.”
For professionally-oriented young adults with autism and/or other mental health disorders, EmployAble, provides support, career counseling and ongoing guidance through the job search, interview, hiring and retention processes. EmployAble also trains employers about the assets of hiring these individuals and how to accommodate them in the workplace. After individuals are able to obtain employment, they and their employers receive continuing support from EmployAble staff to ensure a smooth transition into the workplace.
EmployAble is offered through JF&CS’s Career Development Center in collaboration with Autism Connection of PA, City Connections and the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation (OVR), with funding provided by the United Way of Allegheny County, the Fine Foundation, the Edith L. Trees Charitable Trust and others.
The recognition EmployAble has received in recent months is for everyone at JF&CS. Most of all, it is for our clients, who put their trust in us and look to us for the services and support needed to to help them change their lives.