14th Annual Disability Employment Awareness Conference and Training

Ruth Kim News

In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October, Alameda County hosted the 14th Annual Disability Employment Awareness Conference and Training. The purpose of this ballroom-filled gathering of attendees and presenters was to promote disability awareness, inclusion and advocacy. Topics ranged from employment law to best management practices, from disability employment across the lifespan (young adults to the elderly) to emergency management in the context of climate change and justice, as well as krip-hop politics, art and nation-building.

Kelly Hargreaves, Chief Deputy Director of the California Department of Rehabilitation, gave the opening keynote. Ms. Hargreaves shared her personal story and expressed appreciation for the social workers and other Social Services staff who helped her family, being raised by a single mother of four on public assistance in Alameda County. She highlighted the strategic direction of CA DOR, under the leadership of Director Joe Xavier, in partnership with disability advocacy programs and organizations.

Leroy Moore gave the afternoon keynote address, offering powerful testimonial of his krip-hop activism. Mr. Moore is the founder of Krip-Hop Nation, an international collective of hip hop artists with disabilities. His leadership in building a movement that addresses ableism and discrimination against disabled people of color spans decades.

The day enriched and empowered participants through networking and the conference’s focus on furthering competencies, services and effectiveness with hiring, supervising, working with, and engaging individuals with disabilities.

Thank you to those who attended and stopped by the Training and Education Center table!

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