Dozens of statewide organization, non-profits, and departments gathered in the Harrisburg, PA, at the Main Capitol Rotunda on October 20, 2015 to participate in a Disability Awareness Day, organized by Pennsylvania State Senator Christine Tartaglione (D-Phila). Participants interacted with Pennsylvania lawmakers and staff to raise awareness for inclusion and equality in the workplace for individuals with disabilities.
AgrAbility for Pennsylvanians was represented by Abbie Spackman, Project Coordinator, and Kendra Martin, Outreach Coordinator. They had opportunities to talk one-on-one with legislators about how the project helps Pennsylvania farmers remain in production agriculture despite a disability or long-term health condition.
Senator Tartaglione also won unanimous approval of a resolution making October “National Disability Employment Awareness Month” in Pennsylvania. “We acknowledge those individuals who have overcome challenges to fulfill their career ambitions,” said Senator Tartaglione.
During the event, lawmakers could experience and learn about life as a person with a disability. Representatives from the Pennsylvania Department of Labor and Industry – Bureau of Blindness and Visual Services, Magee Rehabilitation Hospital in Philadelphia, PA Statewide Independent Living Council, PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, Susquehanna Service Dogs, Self Determination Housing Project of Pennsylvania, UniqueSource, and United Cerebral Palsy of Central Pennsylvania helped to drive home an important message.
“They are an example of the hundreds of support organizations across Pennsylvania that every day, help to make employment possible for people with disabilities and possible is the word to remember what is necessary and good,” said Senator Tartaglione. “We must encourage Pennsylvania’s labor force and its industries to create better strategies to work together in hiring, training, and retaining our friends, neighbors, and loved ones with disabilities.”