ODC awarded 2018 Employment First Partner grant
For the Rapids City Times
MADISON – The Wisconsin Board for People with Developmental Disabilities (BPDD) has awarded a 2018 Employment First Partner grant to Opportunity Development Center Inc. (ODC) in Wisconsin Rapids and Marshfield.
ODC will host events for families to connect with each other and to share experiences about integrated employment. ODC will also host a public event at which a family support expert will be brought in to speak on family support and mentoring.
“BPDD’s Employment First Partner grants are a great way to improve local economies and increase community employment options for people with disabilities,” said Beth Swedeen, BPDD Executive Director. “People know their own local communities and these grants provide the seed money and training to create real local changes that allow people with disabilities to more readily find employment in their communities.”
In Wisconsin, over 83 percent of working aged adults without disabilities are employed while only about 32 percent of working aged adults with intellectual disabilities are employed (DisabilityStatistics.org). However, research also shows that most people with disabilities do, in fact, want to work.
BPDD has awarded grants to nine organizations throughout the state to increase community, integrated employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. The organizations, including three schools, will engage in a variety of grassroots community activities including: hosting legislative breakfasts, conducting media campaigns, doing presentations to local civic groups, and holding recognition events for businesses that hire individuals with disabilities.
BPDD Employment First Partner grants kick off in October to help celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual awareness campaign.