The United States started an initiative to raise disability employment awareness back in 1945. Many provinces in Saskatchewan have deemed October Disability Employment Awareness Month and Inclusion.
"DEAM of Disability Employment Awareness Month is an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October," says Chantal Rasmuson, Employment Consultant with Midale Central School. "The purpose of DEAM is to promote employment inclusion for people with disabilities and to celebrate the many and vary contributions of workers with disabilities."
Midale Central School is trying something completely new this year and really focusing on the importance to disability in the workplace. This year's theme is "Inclusive Workplace Cultures." It is important for Canadian employers to demonstrate their ongoing commitment to Canadians with disabilities and employment inclusion.
People with barriers, due to a disability, generally do not receive the help they need until after high school, which is too late. Midale is helping students from Grade 6 to 12 to prepare them for the transition in the working world. This helps the students grow as an individual and have success after high school.
"We engage in a variety of promotional activities to raise public awareness of disability employment issues and the role that everyone plays in fostering a disability-friendly work culture," adds Rasmuson. "We want to spread the important message that a strong workforce is one inclusive to the skills and talents of all individuals."
Midale Central School is not only focusing on students with disabilities but is hoping to teach those without to help them understand why some students require special help. Some disabilities are unseen, such as learning disabilities. The school is hoping to set up activity centers so students can experience what it's like to live with a disability like dyslexia or autism as well as physical disabilities.
Midale Central School will see Riley Raynard visiting the school to speak with students. Raynard has muscular dystrophy and is in a wheelchair. His dream was to become a racecar driver and he has been successful in the hobby stock industry. Raynard along with other tentative speakers will speak to the students about following your dreams, living with a disability and how to get over life's hurdles.