Disability Celebration and Awareness Forum behind held at Concor - WVVA TV Bluefield Beckley WV News, Weather and Sports

Disability Celebration and Awareness Forum behind held at Concord University

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ATHENS, W.Va. – A Disability Celebration and Awareness Forum (DCAF) will be held at Concord University on Thursday, Oct. 22. The event is scheduled from 6 p.m. to 9 p.m. in the Student Center State Room on the Athens campus.

The purpose of the event is to bring awareness to disabilities both seen and unseen, as well as employment of disabled individuals. The DCAF is being held in conjunction with the observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October.

Keynote Speaker is Devin Wanner, Public Affairs Specialist with the USDA Forest Service, Northeastern Area State and Private Forestry. Prior to his keynote address, Wanner will be exhibiting and demonstrating his specially modified truck that has assistive technology during an outdoor presentation in the Student Center parking lot.

Along with discussing the origins of his career with the Forest Service, Wanner will speak about federal special hiring authorities for veterans and for people with disabilities and include an explanation of where to find this information.

Keri Svendsen, a Concord student and committee chair for the forum, said this event is important because not only is lack of access to employment for individuals with disabilities a concern nationwide, it is especially prevalent in rural areas.

  “It’s not as expensive and stressful as employers may think to accommodate someone with a disability,” she said.

  Svendsen explained that the forum will offer “a broad perspective on what is being done” in the area of employment of individuals with disabilities.

  Various agencies from across the state will have exhibits.   Employer resources and employment resources for persons with disabilities will be available. Assistive technology will be displayed and demonstrated.

  A special ceremony honoring U.S. veterans and current members of the military is also part of the forum. Veteran George Myers will serve as speaker for the ceremony. Veterans and active duty military attending the program are invited to attend in uniform.

  Partners for the forum are Concord University, Mercer County Public Schools and the USDA Forest Service.

  Admission is free and the community is invited to attend. For additional information on the forum contact the Disability Services Coordinator at Concord University at disabilityservices@concord.edu, or 304-384-5256.

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