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October Named Disability Employment Awareness Month

Thursday, October 04, 2012 | 07:25am

Events Across the State Highlight Abilities of People With Disabilities

NASHVILLE – Tennessee Governor Bill Haslam is designating October as Disability Employment Awareness Month to generate awareness about the talents and abilities of Tennessee citizens with disabilities.

“A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?” is the theme of the 2012 National Disability Employment Awareness Month. The theme calls attention to a potentially untapped personnel resource in Tennessee and across the country – persons with disabilities.

“Unemployment among persons with disabilities is a challenge that affects all of our citizens,” Haslam said. “By making a conscious effort, each of us can make a difference.”

The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) within the Department of Human Services (DHS) provides rehabilitation services to Tennesseans with disabilities.  A number of individuals with the most significant disabilities, such as quadriplegia, blindness and traumatic brain injuries, have found employment after completing rehabilitation programs through DHS and community partners during the fiscal year 2011-12.

“Businesses that actively recruit qualified employees with disabilities often discover untapped skills and talents. As a group often overlooked, persons with disabilities are committed and motivated employees,” said DHS Commissioner Raquel Hatter. “They also contribute valuable consumer perspectives regarding what the disability market needs and desires.”

Vocational rehabilitation offices across the state as well as the seventeen Tennessee Rehabilitation Centers located in rural communities and the residential comprehensive Tennessee Rehabilitation Center in Smyrna provide numerous services to clients, including vocational training, physical or occupational therapy and transitional life skills. For more information on the TRCs across Tennessee, please, visit .

DHS staff members are working with businesses and agencies across Tennessee on activities recognizing Disability Employment Awareness Month. Attached is a partial list of scheduled events.









October 2

Joint City and County signing of Proclamation for Disability Employment Awareness Month at 9 a.m.

Contact: Lisa Kinkade (731) 423-5620 ext. 328

Jackson City Hall

101 East Main Street

Jackson, TN





October 3

Disability Employment Awareness Month Community Open House from 7a.m. to 10a.m.    

Contact: Valerie Caldwell-Buford (615)790-5509

TN Rehabilitation Center

at Franklin

1405 A Brookwood  Ave

Franklin, TN





October 6

Go! Fest Sponsored by the City of Chattanooga area industry and agencies strives to eliminate barriers for persons with disabilities from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Contact: Phillip Stevens (423) 425-7800

Chattanooga Zoo at

Warner Park

301 North Holtzclaw Avenue

Chattanooga, TN





October 9

Fourth Annual Forum for Employers & Business Owners sponsored by Anderson County Chamber of Commerce &Emory Valley Center from 8 Noon

Contact: Anderson County Chamber of Commerce to RSVP (865) 457-2559

Pollard Technology

Conference Center

210 Badger Avenue

Oak Ridge, TN





October 10

Disability Employment Awareness Month Community Open House & TN Career Coach from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact: Kim Hasty (931) 962-1162

TN Rehabilitation Center

at Winchester

135 Baxter Lane

Winchester, TN





October 10

Greene County Personnel Association/Workforce Employer Outreach Committee(WEOC) Disability Month

Symposium at Noon

Contact: C-Ann Chapman (423) 534-1760

General Morgan Inn

111 N Main Street

Greeneville, TN





October 11                            

Abilities Expo from 9 a.m. to  2p.m.            

Contact: Linda Baharloo (615) 459-6811                                   

TN Rehabilitation Center

at Smyrna

460 Ninth Avenue

Smyrna, TN




October 12



Disability Employment Awareness Month Community Open House/Resource Fair From 9 a.m. to 1p.m.

Contact: Virginia Talley (931) 648-5560


TN Rehabilitation Center at Clarksville

1575 Corporate Parkway


Clarksville, TN





October 16

West TN Society for Human Resource Management Gaining Understanding in Disability Empowerment Conference from

8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Contact: Lisa Kinkade (731) 423-5620 ext 328


Union University

Carl Grant Event Center

1050 Union University Drive

Jackson, TN





October 17

Disability Employment Awareness Month Community Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact: Delwyn Smith (423) 478-0332



TN Rehabilitation Center

at Cleveland

3069 Overlook Drive

Suite B

Cleveland, TN





October 17

Disability Awareness Fair from 8a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact: Amy Howell (931) 526-4721 ext 113

TN Rehabilitation Center

at  Cookeville

955 East 20th Street

Cookeville, TN






October 17

Career & Community Resource Fair

From 9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Contact: Bradley Moss (731) 884-2600

TN Rehabilitation Center

at Union City

1419 North Morgan Ext.

Union City, TN






October 17

Disability Mentoring Day

Contact: Trish Farmer (615) 313-4907






October 18

Ability Focus Job Fair from 9 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact: Virginia Talley (931) 648-5560

TN Rehabilitation Center

at Clarksville

1575 Corporate Parkway Boulevard

Clarksville, TN






October 18

Northeast TN Workforce Investment Board

Annual Luncheon Meeting Let’s Do Lunch at Noon

Contact: Teresa Smith (423) 434-6613

Carnegie Hotel

1216 West State

of Franklin

Johnson City, TN




October 22

Knoxville Area Employment Consortium and Knoxville Business Advisory Council Disability Employment Awareness Breakfast Program from 8 a.m. to 10 a.m.

Contact: Tina Jones (865) 594-6060 ext 1105

Knoxville Downtown Hilton Hotel

501 Church Avenue Knoxville, TN






October 23

Area Recognition Awards Luncheon at 11:30 a.m.

Contact: Ronda Baker (731) 286-8315

TN Rehabilitation Center

At Dyersburg

1365 Morgan Road

Dyersburg, TN





October 23

Disability Employment Awareness Month

Community Open House with Career Coach

From 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Contact: Linda Suddarth (615) 451-5826

TN Rehabilitation Center

at Gallatin

1019 Union School Road

Gallatin, TN





October 23

Paris/Henry County Chamber of Commerce

Small Business Expo from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m.

Contact: Chamber of Commerce (731) 642-3431

Henry County Fairgrounds Building

817 Royal Oak Drive

Paris, TN






October 25

Regional Workforce Employer Outreach Committee (WEOC) and Chamber Breakfast at 7:30 a.m.

Contact: Teresa Smith (423) 434-6613

TN Rehabilitation Center at Elizabethton

407 Cherokee Park Drive

Elizabethton, TN





October 25

Mayor’s Advisory Committee for People with Disabilities Recognition Awards at 5:30 p.m.

Contact: Bridget Galvin (615) 862-6034

Nashville Farmer’s


900 Rosa Parks


Nashville, TN





October 26

Disability Employment Awareness Month    

Community Open House from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact: Pam Furlong (615) 898-8088                       

TN Rehabilitation Center

at Murfreesboro

1132 Haley Road

Murfreesboro, TN





October 31


Area Recognition Awards Luncheon by Southeast Placement Consortium from 11:30 a.m. 1:30 p.m.

Contact: Carol Martin at


Chattanooga Convention

& Trade Center

One Carter Plaza

Chattanooga, TN








October 31


Disability Employment Awareness Day             

from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

Contact: Deborah Quillen (865) 981-2382                                          

TN Rehabilitation Center

at Maryville

1749 Triangle Park Drive

Maryville, TN




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