Gov. Asa Hutchinson proclaimed October as National Disability Employment Awareness month. On Thursday, the Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities (the Council), Arkansas Rehabilitation Services (ARS) and other community members gathered to commemorate this important month.

During the event, the Council announced the launch of a statewide disability inclusion survey for all Arkansas-based employers. Employers across the state are encouraged to complete the survey, which will be open now through Sunday, Oct. 31.

“As an entity dedicated to empowering Arkansans with DD, we are committed to increasing awareness of the value of inclusive and equitable employment practices,” said Jon Taylor, executive director of the Council. “This survey will provide us with vital insights in order to create the best resources to improve Arkansas’s equitable workforce. We encourage all employers to take the initiative: participate in our survey and help build a better future for all Arkansans.”

Every October, the Council and ARS celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month as a time to increase awareness of the need for Arkansas-based employers to employ more inclusively and the plethora of resources available. This year’s celebration was held at Arkansas State University System’s office in Little Rock, and event attendees included Taylor; Joseph Baxter, Commissioner of ARS; the Council members; ARS members and community members.

“We are thrilled to announce that October is Disability Employment Awareness Month in an initiative to better support our workforce through inclusive and equitable employment practices,” said Baxter. “We want to thank Gov. Hutchinson for supporting our mission to provide resources and support for Arkansans with developmental disabilities and the Council for their dedication to promoting inclusive, integrated employment for all individuals across the state.”

The Council works to improve the independence and productivity of Arkansans with intellectual and developmental disabilities (DD) and to ensure their integration and inclusion into communities across the state. The disability inclusion survey will be available online for employers to complete through Oct. 31, 2021, at Survey.

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