DCI Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Check out this post for all things NDEAM 2023! Information will be added throughout the month:


October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), so Dickinson's Employment Support Services team & the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) encourage businesses and organizations across the country to participate.

Held annually, NDEAM educates about disability employment topics and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. Although national in scope, NDEAM’s true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level. Employers of all sizes and in all industries can take part.

For specific ideas about how your business can support National Disability Employment Awareness Month, visit dol.gov/NDEAM. Suggestions range from simple, such as putting up a poster, to comprehensive, such as implementing a disability education program. Regardless, all play an important part in fostering a more accessible and equitable workforce, one where all people are recognized for their abilities—every day of every month. Please contact Marsha Dippold if your organization is interested in promoting the hiring of disabled individuals.

OCTOBER 2ND, 2023 -- Dickinson Center, Inc., an affiliate of Journey Health System, today announced it is joining the US Dept. of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy ( ODEP ) and the participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. 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 "Advancing Access and Equity."

The history of NDEAM traces back to 1945, when it started as a week and focused only on people with physical disabilities. Later, it expanded to a full month, and its name and scope evolved to acknowledge the importance of increasing the workforce inclusion of people with all nature of disabilities.

“Our communities and economy are strengthened by the inclusion of all people, including people with disabilities,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams. “Their contributions have historically been vital to our nation’s success and are more important today than ever. We must build an accessible, equitable economy that fully includes the talent and drive of those with disabilities.”

Reflecting this year's theme, throughout the month, Dickinson Center will be engaging in a variety of activities to educate its employees and community on disability employment issues and its commitment to an accessible and equitable work culture. These efforts include Facebook posts, recognition of community employers and an awards presentation for the consumer of the year.

"Dickinson Center is proud to be a part of this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month," said Marsha Dippold, director of Employment Support Services. "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 ways they can promote its messages—during October and throughout the year—by visiting dol.gov/NDEAM.

On October 3, 2023, the Elk County Commissioners County of Elk, PA signed a Resolution declaring October to be recognized as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Michelle Pastore, DCI Employment Specialist, met with the commissioners of Elk County to discuss the importance of employment in one's life. When individuals have a vocational purpose in life, it positively impacts their physical and mental health. This year's motto is Advancing Access and Equity. Many employers right now are suffering the consequences of being short staffed. By advancing access and equity, employers will reap the benefits of untapped laborers within the community by employing individuals with disabilities. DCI's individuals are the largest minority of unemployed and underemployed people. This is a resource that employers cannot leave untapped. Dickinson Employment Support Services wish to thank the Elk County Commissioners for all of their support over the years to promote National Disability Employment Awareness Month and the hiring of disabled individuals!

Pictured from the left: Joe Daghir, Elk County Commissioner; Michelle Pastore, DCI Employment Specialist; Fritz Lecker, Elk County Commissioner.

DCI ESS Announces Joe Goff Memorial Award 2023

Pictured from L to R: Jill Styslinger, B&T Building Services’ representative; Rosemary Zimmett, Dickinson Center’s employment specialist; Mitchell Rakieski, award recipient; Michelle Pastore, employment specialist and Marsha Dippold, Dickinson Center’s Director of Employment Services.


During the month of October, Dickinson Center’s Employment Support Services (ESS) celebrated National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year, Dickinson Center’s Employment Support Services (ESS) is proud to announce the third annual Joseph Goff Memorial Distinguished Worker Award.

In April of 2021, Joe Goff passed away suddenly. Joe was a colleague of Dickinson’s ESS team who worked for years at the St Mary’s driver’s license center for B&T Building Services. Joe enjoyed his job, gardening, photography and spending time with his friends.

Dickinson Center’s ESS, in coordination with B&T Building Services, is proud to present the 2023 Joe Goff Memorial Distinguished Worker Award to Mitchell Rakieski. Mitchell has been employed with B&T Cleaners at the St. Marys Pennsylvania Department of Transportation (PennDOT) for the last few years. During this time, Mitchell has been able to achieve his vocational goals through hard work and dedication to his job. Mitchell’s coworker and job coaches are very encouraging and supportive of Mitchell which helps contribute to his success. The Joe Goff award is given to someone who has shown strides in improving their life by achieving their personal and vocational goals. Mitchell is truly an inspiration to all with his achievements to overcome his obstacles and succeed with his life goals. Congratulations and continued success are extended to Mitchell.