Laurens County Disabilities and Special Needs, Laurens District 55 and 56, and Vocational Rehabilitation hosted a luncheon on Monday for Disability Employment Awareness.
The guest speaker at the event was former NFL player Shawn Harper. Harper also wrote the book "The Winning Edge".
Harper shared stories about how he has faced disappointments, roadblocks, and overcame failures in his life.
Once in school, Harper would count paragraphs to practice reading when he had to read out loud in class.
Laurens County School District 55 Transition Interagency Committee was organized and created on September 11. 2001. The Committee was created by Representatives of Laurens County Disabilities and Special Needs Board, SCVRD, and other businesses.
The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) traces back to 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
On September 28, the committee hosted a kick-off for the National Disability Employment Awareness Month in front of Laurens District High School.
Mayors Stellertean Jones of Gray Court, Bob McLean of Clinton, and Nathan Senn of Laurens, and Barbara Smith of Waterloo were on hand and each signed a proclamation reinforcing the value and talent people with disabilities add to our workplaces, communities, and economy.
The proclamations are now on display in the district offices of Districts 55 and 56.
The theme for NDEAM 2021, "America's Recovery: Powered by Inclusion," reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic, according to information provided by Carolyn Beasley Shortt.
At the luncheon, ZF Transmissions was presented with the Carolyn Beasley Shortt Leadership Award.
ZF has employed numerous employees with disabilities. They also announced they have asked to extend that number by eight more employees.