Genesis Development announced today its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each Oct. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.”


The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week of Oct. each year, “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.


“Americans of all abilities must have access to good, safe jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor, Alexandra Acosta. “Smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving situations leas to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition and drives innovation.”


Reflecting this year’s theme, Genesis Development has always worked toward inclusion and innovation in the work force in Dallas County. The Employment Services department in Adel began in 2010 and currently has 26 people working jobs in the community. In addition, Genesis Development is serving six high school students with disabilities in the Experienced Based Career Exploration program at Perry High School.


Christine Zaegel started in one of Genesis Development’s job development programs. In her 50s, Zaegel had never had a job before and had no experience. In Aug. 2016, Zaegel began working at the Genesis Development facility in Adel with a very short two hour shift. It wasn’t long before Zaegel wanted to take on more hours.


“I have to tell you, we never thought she would work you are asking her to work more hours,” Zaegel’s father said with pride. She likes her job and her coworkers and Zaegel always brings a smile to the office.


“Genesis Development is proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month and a part of the Dallas County community,” said Jamie Brown, Employment Manager. “We want to spread the important message that we value all perspectives, including those of individuals with disabilities.”


Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and was they can promote its messages - during Oct. and throughout the year - by visiting www.dol.gov/ndeam. To learn more about Genesis Development, please visit www.genesisdevelopment.com.