County commissioners proclaim Disability Employment Awareness Month

Staff report

(Mansfield, OH) – The Richland County commissioners have proclaimed October as Disability Employment Awareness Month. The purpose of the month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “My Disability Is One Part of Who I Am.”

In 2014, only 17.1 percent of people with disabilities were employed, according to the U.S. Department of Labor.

“Richland Newhope and Richland Newhope Industries, Inc. have a long history of supporting individuals to obtain employment within their community,” says Amanda South, Richland Newhope’s Director of Adult Services. “In conjunction with Employment First efforts in Ohio, we continue to work on strengthening relationships with local partners, including school districts and businesses, to support adults and transitioning youth to be prepared and successful in their job.”

Accepting the commissioners’ proclamation on Tuesday were Sean Conrad, who works at the City Garden Café, and Sean Stichler, who is employed at Richland Newhope Industries, Inc. (RNI).

As part of the local observance of Disability Employment Awareness Month, RNI will hold its annual Employer Recognition Breakfast during which time businesses in the community that employ individuals with developmental disabilities as well as those that contract with RNI will be honored. The 2015 Employers of the Year and Employees of the Year will also be recognized.

The reservation-only breakfast will be held Thurs., Oct. 29, at 7:30 a.m. at the Holiday Inn in Mansfield. This year’s featured speaker will be former boxer Craig Weber. The Ashland County native was the 11th ranked fighter in the world in the super lightweight and welterweight divisions, finishing with a record of 21-2-2. Weber has been a baseball coach for children with special needs for the past several years.

Also during October, two individuals who were Employees of the Year at RNI in 2014 are being featured on billboards in the Mansfield area.

Established in 1963, Richland Newhope Industries, Inc. provides services and supports for community employment, industrial services at three production sites, personal and social services, recreational services, and options for seniors.

Richland Newhope (Richland County Board of Developmental Disabilities) supports more than 1,800 individuals through early intervention, preschool, adult, residential, therapy, transportation and other family support programs.

Staff report