In 1987, President Ronald Reagan issued a public proclamation that the month of March would be recognized as Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month to “increase public awareness of the needs and potential of Americans with disabilities.” Rights for the more than five million Americans who have a developmental disability were furthered with the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990.
The state of Indiana has recognized and celebrated disability awareness for nearly 30 years. This year’s theme is Be Cool. We Are. For more information about this year’s campaign visit www.indianadisabilityawareness.org.
For 15 years PQC has played a significant role in advocating and advancing services for this vulnerable population. Yet, as many strides have been made, challenges remain for individuals, and their families, who live with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences.
We challenge you to become an advocate for individuals facing employment barriers. A new study shows that 9 out of 10 people with autism can now obtain gainful employment with specific training, however, in 2017 only 39% of people with a disability were gainfully employed. Even more alarming is that nearly 2,000 Hoosiers with disabilities were denied Vocational Rehabilitation services between August 2017 and December 2018 due to lack of state funds. PQC Trains, a disability-assisting workforce division of PQC Works, currently employs 6 people at Windrose Urban Farm, also a part of the PQC family, whose mission is to help individuals with special needs to grow their careers and cultivate their tomorrows, doing a variety of jobs overcoming a variety of barriers. We also currently have 67 Voc Rehab participants that we have helped to find gainful employment throughout the state of Indiana.