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Tennessee Recognizes Disability Employment Awareness Month

Tuesday, October 14, 2014 | 07:14am

State continues efforts to assist those with disabilties obtain employment

NASHVILLE – October has been designated Disability Employment Awareness Month in Tennessee by Governor Haslam, as well as nationally, and serves to recognize the strengths, skills and capabilities of people with disabilities. This month, the Department of Human Services (DHS), and other agencies throughout the state are holding events to bring awareness to disability employment issues and the contributions of all involved.

“Expect. Employ. Empower.”, is the theme of the 2014 National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Over the past year, the DHS Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) Program has assisted more than 2,100 people reach successful employment, while also providing services to help others accomplish the same. The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS), a division within DHS, provides rehabilitation services to Tennesseans with the most significant disabilities, ranging from traumatic brain injury and cognitive impairments to blindness.

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.

“We are very excited about the contributions Tennesseans living with disabilities are making to the workforce and appreciate their perseverance," said DHS Commissioner Raquel Hatter. “Through the workforce development provided by DHS and hard work of partners and employers, we can all make a lasting impact in their lives.”

State departments and agencies are working together to provide a system of services and supports for people with disabilities in helping them reach their employment goals. One example of these combined efforts was illustrated by the Employment First Task Force report released last month.

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

For more information on vocational rehabilitation services, visit .


October 14

11:30 a.m. – 1:30 p.m.

Area Recognition Awards Luncheon by the Chattanooga Area Employment Consortium

Chattanooga Convention and Trade Center

One Carter Plaza

Chattanooga, TN

Contact: Lana Bazemore, (423) 634-6706


Disability Mentoring Day @ Vanderbilt

The Vanderbilt Kennedy Center (VKC) celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October by participating in a national job-shadow and career exploration program.                                                       


October 15

Disability Mentoring Day


Contact: Trish Farmer, (615) 313-4907                                                                                             


9:00 a.m. – 4:00 p.m.

TN Employment First Conference, sponsored by the TN Department of Intellectual & Developmental Disabilities

Millennium Maxwell House Hotel

2025 Rosa Parks Blvd

Nashville, TN

Contact: Cara Kumari, (615) 253-2236


10:00 a.m. – noon

Disability Employment Awareness Month Community Open House

TN Rehabilitation Center at Greeneville

241 Baileyton Road

Greeneville, TN

Contact: Michele Keffer, (423) 639-5148


10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Disability Employment Awareness Month Community Open House

TN Rehabilitation Center at Cleveland

3069 Overlook Drive, Suite B

Cleveland, TN

Contact: Delwyn Smith, (423) 478-0332


October 16

9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Abilities Expo

Tennessee Rehabilitation Center at Smyrna

460 Ninth Avenue

Smyrna, TN

Contact: Nancy Patterson (615) 459-6811, ext 204


October 17

10:00 a.m. – 1:00 p.m.

Disability Employment Awareness Month Recognition Day

TN Rehabilitation Center at Franklin

1405A Brookwood Ave.

Franklin, TN

Contact: Barbara Bennett, (615)599-9162


9:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

Disability Employment Awareness Month Career Job Fair with Career Coach

TN Rehabilitation Center at Murfreesboro

1132 Haley Road

Murfreesboro, TN

Contact: Pam Furlong, (615) 898-8808


October 22

7:30 a.m. – 10:00 a.m.

Knoxville Area Employment Consortium hosts Disability Employment Awareness Breakfast

Vallie Collins, survivor of U.S. Airways Flight #1549, that landed in New York’s Hudson River will share her experience in what has become known as the “Miracle on the Hudson.”

Crowne Plaza Hotel

401 West Summit Hill Drive

Knoxville, TN

Contact: Tina Jones, (865) 594-6757


October 24

10:00 a.m. – noon

Career & Community Resource Fair

TN Rehabilitation Center at Clarksville

1575 Corporate Parkway Blvd

Clarksville, TN

Contact: Virginia Talley, (931) 648-5560


October 28

11:30 a.m.

Area Recognition Awards Luncheon

TN Rehabilitation Center at Dyersburg

1365 Morgan Road

Dyersburg, TN

Contact: Tammy Boxx, (731) 286-8315


October 29

9:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.

Career & Community Resource Fair

TN Rehabilitation Center at Union City

1419 N Morgan Extended

Union City, TN

Contact: Bradley Moss, (731) 884-2600


10:00 a.m. – 2:00 p.m.

TN Career Coach from TN Department of Labor & Workforce Development will be on location

TN Rehabilitation Center at Winchester

135 Baxter Lane

Winchester, TN

Contact: Kim Hasty, (931) 962-1162


October 31

10:00 a.m. – noon

Disability Employment Awareness Day

TN Rehabilitation Center at Maryville

1749 Triangle Park Drive

Maryville, TN



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