Disabilities, Hidden or Not, Bring Benefits to a Workplace

“#InclusionWorks” is the Department of Labor’s theme for October events celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Eric Barr, professor emeritus of theatre at UC Riverside, greets his former student Helen Kim after a performance of his one-man play “A Piece of My Mind” about his recovery process from multiple strokes. Photo by Carrie Rosema

RIVERSIDE, Calif. (www.ucr.edu) – The University of California, Riverside (UCR) launched National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) with an evening performance about the life journey of Eric Barr, a UCR professor emeritus who survived a major stroke.

On Oct. 1, the one-man show called “A Piece of My Mind,” portrayed Barr’s struggle with grueling and frustrating rehabilitation sessions, and his gratitude for the support of family and friends.

The performance was the first of three campus events planned by UCR in partnership with the City of Riverside and the California Department of Rehabilitation to highlight the benefits of recruiting employees with disabilities and celebrating their contributions in the workplace.

Next up is a “Walk and Roll” and a workshop on disability awareness. These events are free, however, a reservation is required.

“The City of Riverside is eager to work with such impressive partners to bring attention to the valued contributions made every day by our disabled employees,” Mayor Rusty Bailey said. “One of our City’s core values is inclusivity, and one of the ways we can demonstrate that is through worthy efforts such as this.”

The campus and local community “Walk and Roll” will be held on Friday, Oct. 7. UCR Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox, Vice Chancellor Ron T. Coley, Vice Chancellor James Sandoval, leaders from the City of Riverside, and the California Department of Rehabilitation will lead the walk. Students, faculty, staff and local community members are encouraged to arrive at the university flagpole near Hinderaker Hall at 11:45 a.m. for a walk around the campus. Booths with disability resources and career information will be positioned along the path. Participants will receive bottled water, snacks and have an opportunity to win prizes.

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox (left) will help lead the Walk and Roll on Oct. 7 at UC Riverside. Photo by Sandra B. Martinez

Chancellor Kim A. Wilcox (left) will help lead the Walk and Roll on Oct. 7 at UC Riverside.
Photo by Sandra B. Martinez

On Tuesday, Oct. 18, UCR and the California Department of Rehabilitation will facilitate a “Windmills” workshop, a formal disability, sensitivity and awareness training. This lunch and learn workshop is designed for anyone who wants to interact more effectively with individuals with disabilities. It focuses on attitudes and human factors, as well as concerns and issues related to legal requirements and accommodation. The workshop will be held at the university’s Highlander Union Building (HUB), from 11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m. A box lunch will be provided to all participants.

“We are excited to join with our campus and community partners in celebrating the contributions of employees with disabilities while increasing awareness of the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents,” said UCR Associate Vice Chancellor of Human Resources, Jadie Lee.

For more information or to reserve your seat, please visit: http://hr.ucr.edu/ndeam.html

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