JFCS’ Vocational Rehabilitation program embodies spirit of Disability Employment Awareness Month

Disability Awareness Employment Month

Governor Tim Walz has proclaimed October as Disability Employment Awareness Month in Minnesota, in recognition of the skills, experience and dedication that people with disabilities contribute to the labor force and our state’s economy.

This year marks several major milestones in disability employment. It’s the 50th anniversary of the National Rehabilitation Act, which was the first federal law aimed at providing equal access for people with disabilities by removing employment, architectural and transportation barriers. In Minnesota, it’s also the 50th anniversary of the Minnesota Human Rights Act, which advances equal opportunity for employees and job applicants with disabilities, and the 50th anniversary of the establishment of the Minnesota Council on Disability.

Having a career can enhance individuals’ sense of dignity and purpose. JFCS’ Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program provides personalized services to individuals with disabilities who are seeking to improve their work lives or find employment. The program offers vocational evaluation, job placement, work adjustment training and extended employment. 

“In recognition of Disability Employment Awareness Month, I would like to recognize the important work that staff does every day to create equal opportunities in the workforce for individuals with disabilities,” said VR Program Manager Cindy Uran. “The program strives to make a difference in the lives of individuals with disabilities by assisting them to find and maintain employment; removing barriers, increasing awareness, enhancing independence and advancing careers.”

During the 2023 legislative session, the Minnesota Department of Employment and Economic Development (DEED) secured additional funding for programs that help connect Minnesotans with disabilities to employment, including State Services for the Blind (SSB) and Vocational Rehabilitation Services (VRS). DEED projects the increased funding will help VRS provide employment-related services to approximately 20,000 Minnesotans with disabilities each year and increase the number of Minnesotans who utilize workforce training, career counseling and employment services through SSB by 50% over the next two years.

Click here for more information JFCS’ Vocational Rehabilitation program and JFCS Career Services.

Click here for more information on National Disability Employment Awareness Month.