October 2023

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Help Us Fuel Workplace Ambition with Our DEAM Toolkit

For our 2023 Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, we decided to choose something synonymous with work--that first cup of coffee or tea so many of us use to start our day.

Whatever your choice of morning beverage may be, that first cup fuels us to get going. We know persons with disabilities have the same ambitions to succeed in the workplace, and they too use that first cup to fuel their day. It was only fitting that our 2023 theme for DEAM is Fueling Workplace Ambition.

It's not too late to participate in Disability Employment Awareness Month with us! Check out our DEAM toolkit full of suggestions on how you can show your support.

Download Our Toolkit

Sign Up for Webinar Wednesdays

Our popular webinar series is back and in full swing! The Able Trust is holding a range of webinars throughout Disability Employment Awareness Month to share information from leading experts about important education initiatives, transition resources, career and technical education opportunities, and more.

Check out the remaining sessions in our Webinar Wednesday Series and make your plans to attend! If you missed a session or simply want a refresher on one of the topics previously discussed, you can also review the Zoom recordings of our three prior presentations at the above link.

Register Here

Tampa Mayor Delivers Proclamation of City's Support for DEAM

Tampa Mayor Jane Castor delivers a proclamation of support for Disability Employment Awareness Month to The Able Trust President and CEO Allison Chase. Mayor Castor served as the keynote speaker for The Able Trust's DEAM kickoff celebration in September at the Tampa Marriott Water Street.

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A Profile of a Longtime Supporter of Disability Inclusion On the Job

We've all heard time and again that it takes a village to support our students, and often we think about the school-focused parts of that support system--our fellow educators, administrators, parents and guardians, all of whom are crucial to academic and personal growth. But as we strive with our students for their success, it's just as important to have strong relationships with businesses and organizations outside the classroom.

Aladdin Equipment Co. owner Carrie Collins is a shining example of a business leader who has done the work to improve the career prospects of students with disabilities. A member of the High School High Tech Business Advisory Council, Carrie works with The Haven Academy's Travis Ebersole from the Manatee and Sarasota HSHT sites. Her company has brought HSHT students from The Haven on as interns at the long-standing pool and spa parts manufacturing company for the past four years.

Her efforts don't stop there. Carrie hired two of The Haven's students for summer work last year, and works to find tours, guest speakers and internships for the students who intern with her. Aladdin also served as a key player in presenting the Nuts, Bolts & Thingamajigs career exploration camp for The Haven's students at PPi Technologies Group this summer.

This commitment to increased disability inclusion in the workplace is likewise seen through the staff at Aladdin, who include several persons with disabilities among their ranks. Carrie is truly a leader who talks the talk and walks the walk!

We know there are more business and industry leaders like Carrie out there, and as Disability Employment Awareness Month winds up, we'd love to hear from you about your experiences with these hardworking advocates for our students. Reach out and tell us about your experiences.

I hope this DEAM has been productive and rewarding for all of you. Let's keep the good work going!

Coleen Agner

High School High Tech State Director

Use Your Platforms - Raise Awareness in October and Beyond!

Social media is a great way to raise awareness about a variety of events and topics, and Disability Employment Awareness Month is no exception. As educators, you can have a major impact on the efforts to get the word out about disability-inclusive employment. Check out this Facebook post from Madison County HSHT at a terrific event at Norris Café in Madison, and consider creating and sharing a similar post with your audiences on your favorite platforms using the resources in our DEAM toolkit. Remember to tag The Able Trust in your post and make it public so we can share it on our channels, too!

  • Facebook: @The Able Trust
  • Instagram: @abletrust
  • LinkedIn: @The Able Trust
  • Twitter/X: @AbleTrust

Publix Virtual Events: Explore a Wide Range of Careers!

We're excited to share that Publix Super Markets has once again offered a slate of virtual career exploration events as part of Disability Employment Awareness Month! These sessions go beyond the range of jobs available in a Publix store--covering careers such as real estate agents, doctors, commercial truck drivers and much more. Students who participate can also win swag bags from Publix. This is a terrific way to start or continue career exploration!

Morning and afternoon sessions on Thursday, October 26 are still available; just scan the QR code here or click below to secure a spot in the virtual event of your choice. Don't miss the chance to encourage your students to register for these outstanding experiences!

Register Now

Sneak Peek: Project Venture Planning Underway

While Disability Employment Awareness Month is winding up in the coming days, we've also begun preparations for the 2023-24 Project Venture competition for High School High Tech students. This year's competition will be held in Jacksonville on April 9th. We're so excited to see the creative business ideas these students develop!

Click the video below to watch highlights from Project Venture 2022-23.

Project Venture Home



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The Able Trust, also known as the Florida Endowment Foundation for Vocational Rehabilitation, is a 501(c)(3) public charity established by the Florida Legislature in 1990 as a direct support organization for the 

Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. Its mission is to be a key leader in providing

Floridians with disabilities opportunities for successful employment.

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