Department of Rehabilitation Celebrates
National Disability Employment Awareness Month

For Immediate Release

October 12, 2022

SACRAMENTO— The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), administrator of the largest vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs in the country, is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual event in October that highlights the skills, talents, and diversity that people with disabilities bring to the workforce. This year’s theme is Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.  

“Disability is part of the intersectionality people with disabilities have and should be an integral part of the equity conversation,” said DOR Director Joe Xavier.
“A workforce should reflect the community it serves, and I encourage all businesses that are truly committed to inclusion to recruit and hire candidates with disabilities who are qualified, talented, and ready to work.”  

 California Health and Human Services Secretary Dr. Mark Ghaly adds, “California as an employer has made diversity, equity, and inclusion a priority and has incorporated those principles into initiatives and strategies reflected in all our agencies and departments, from health care to employment. We cannot be a California for All without ensuring all our residents have access to live a life they choose with independence and dignity.” 

This year, DOR launched the Demand Side Employment Initiative (DSEI), an employer incentive program to support businesses in hiring people with disabilities. Funding for the program came from a one-time state budget appropriation of $10 million to support strategic initiatives to increase the employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. 

The program consists of four areas:  

            EmployABILITY Grant 

  • Small- to medium-sized businesses can apply for a grant ranging from $20,000 to $200,000, with the possibility of additional funding in the future, to support hiring and training individuals with disabilities.

Targeted Marketing Campaign 

  • This strategic multimedia marketing campaign will spotlight the EmployABILITY grant recipient businesses who are champions for disability inclusive hiring in California.  

Earn and Learn Opportunities 

  • Funding is available for businesses to establish a training program that leads Californians with disabilities to employment. 

Human Resources Training and Collateral 

  • Funding available to establish a training program that leads Californians with disabilities to employment 

To learn more about the EmployABILITY Grant, visit the EmployABILITY website. To learn about DOR NDEAM events and other DOR initiatives, visit the DOR website.