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The clock is ticking and Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) is almost here. This is an important time of the year when there is a nationwide spotlight on disability employment, and we want to be sure we are making the most of this opportunity.

As I mentioned in the last issue, we will be launching a #cupofambition campaign during Disability Employment Awareness Month. We want Floridians with disabilities to have the same opportunity to grab that cup of coffee for their "cup of ambition" every morning on their way to work. We will be working with coffee shops around the state, supplying them with custom Disability Employment Awareness Month coffee cup sleeves; we will use these sleeves with the #cupofambition campaign to help raise awareness.

The Able Trust has also developed a special webpage where we will highlight news, events and opportunities to support the importance of raising awareness about disability employment during October. Let us know if there is a special proclamation or other celebration of DEAM in your community so we can add it to the growing list of events and show our support on social media.

In the meantime, please take a look at these opportunities to help raise awareness:

  • Help spread the word by joining our #cupofambition social media campaign.
  • Share our “Take the First Step” webpage with employers who may be interested in becoming more inclusive but need some direction. 
  • Use our Templates for a Proclamation or encourage employers you work with to use our Corporate Statement of Support to show their support.

We look forwarding to working with all our partners on the opportunity Disability Employment Awareness Month presents to  help raise awareness of this important talent pool and their contributions to Florida's workforce.

Joey D'Souza

Vice President, External Engagement

Social media will be important in reaching a broad audience about Disability Employment Awareness Month. Please send a photo of yourself holding a cup of coffee (or your favorite morning beverage) as we roll out our “cup of ambition” campaign, and we’ll be sure to feature you on our social media channels. When highlighting your own efforts on social media, be sure to use #cupofambition along with other hashtags including #inclusiveflorida #disabilityemployment #PWD and #inclusiveworkforce.

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A persistent workforce participation gap of more than 40 percentage points exists between individuals with disabilities and those without disabilities. Inclusive Florida will help close this gap so Florida job seekers with disabilities will be able to be more integrated into their community, better support their families, and most importantly realize their full potential. The Able Trust’s Strategic Plan for 2022-23 has set a goal to close the workforce participation gap by 10 percentage points in 10 years through Inclusive Florida: Powered by The Able Trust.

Inclusive Florida is comprised of a three-pronged approach:

  1. Research and data;
  2. Outreach; and
  3. Capacity building.

Research and data are going to lead our work. We believe that decision-making and system change must be grounded in data and research. We will conduct an extensive analysis of state, regional and local economic data that define the existing conditions of disability workforce inclusion in Florida. We are also engaging our partners and stakeholders throughout the state to learn from their experiences, challenges, and success. Through understanding of what works and what doesn’t, we can begin to identify best practices that can be shared statewide.

Capacity building is our focus on taking what The Able Trust learns from research and our discussions with partners and stakeholders, and aligning local and state disability employment assets, building bridges and connections, and integrating best practices for disability inclusion across the state. Capacity building is how we will make true impact in closing the disability employment gap.

Outreach is consistently needed to ensure that Florida is aware of the large, underutilized talent pool that people with disabilities comprise. Disability Employment Awareness is celebrated for a month, but that is what The Able Trust does year-round. We know that you are also talking about employing people with disabilities in your local community; our hope is that between your efforts and ours, businesses by and large will begin to have a cultural shift towards inclusion.


The Able Trust has developed an online course which we are encouraging our partners to use for business engagement. We are sharing this free course with employers around the state to help them understand the benefits of creating an inclusive workforce.

Through the course, employers will gain a better understanding of:

  • The value of hiring and retaining workers with disabilities.
  • The common concerns to hiring and retaining employees with disabilities. 
  • The resources to learn more about people with disabilities and their employment.

We hope you will share this with employers you are working with, and we look forward to receiving their feedback.

Click here to access the online course and please let us know if you have questions.


Manufacturing Day is held in October, and this growing industry is important to our state's economy. If you're interested in learning more about manufacturing career opportunities, register today for a webinar on September 21, being held by the Florida Advanced Technology Education Center.

This industry is working to help manufacturers build a steady pipeline of qualified and diversified manufacturing talent that will support local economies.



Bad News And Good News People With Disabilities Need To Hear Today


If you spend any time at all browsing disability-related writing and other content, you may eventually find yourself asking a basic question. What’s more important for disabled people to hear about — bad news or good?

Do people with disabilities need to continue learning more about ableism, discrimination, persistent inaccessibility, and social and economic injustice? Or, is it better for their overall outlook and mental health to focus on good news — about successful disabled people’s achievements, opportunities offered by new technologies and innovations, and empowering ways to think about disability itself?



Your support ensures Floridians with disabilities have opportunities to gain meaningful employment.


To make your tax-deductible donation to The Able Trust,

click here.

Forward this newsletter to other colleagues, and business and community leaders who care about being more inclusive.


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We welcome the opportunity to share information about disability employment. Invite us to speak at your upcoming board meeting, conference or webinar.

Click here to fill out our Speaker Request form

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