National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign, each October to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?” We are proud to support this campaign. Learn more at www.dol.gov/odep/
Company of Experts had the distinct honor of working with Disability Rights Nebraska for the past few years. Working with DRN has been a personal highlight for us. An outstanding organization who have a deep love and commitment to creating a just and equal community. We have so much to celebrate as our communities have changed for the good over the years in structure, processes and culture through awareness. This is from the DRN Website:
Our vision for the future is clear: All people with mental or physical disabilities are valued in their community, have control over their own lives, and have the necessary resources to live a life of quality.
That vision is captured in three words: dignity, equality and empowerment.
We start the first year of our new Five Year Strategic Plan this coming year. Our strategic plan was developed using a process called Appreciative Inquiry.
Appreciative Inquiry grounded by: 1) What you see, you find more of – the more positive and inspiring the strategy development, the more innovative ideas will be created and possibilities that can be explored, and 2) People commit to what they help create – the more participative the plan development, the more committed people will be to the success of the plan.
The process was focused on what our organization would look like if it were designed to maximize and preserve the themes lifted from those we interviewed – our internal partners and external allies.
Six priority areas emerged that captured the possibility of hope that was discovered from the interviews. These priority areas will be the framework for our efforts during the next five years:
- Protecting and Advocating for Human and Legal Rights
Seeking justice for people with disabilities; ensuring safety, personal integrity, self-determination
- Leading Change within the Community
Working with people with disabilities to create meaningful, authentic inclusion in communities of choice
- Empowering Others to Achieve Full Participation
Always mindful of the motto: “Nothing about us without us”; really listening to others, acting with compassion, and building trusting relationships; supporting people’s hopes, dreams and things not yet imagine
- Building Relationships in the Community
Maintaining our integrity through respectful, honest communication and teamwork; valuing connections with community partners
- Valuing and Appreciating Diversity
Respecting the strength of difference and diversity Valuing the energy, creativity and enthusiasm others bring to achieving our shared vision
- Cultivating Opportunities
Engaging in potent, relevant, effective, and expansive advocacy
From the DRN website: http://www.disabilityrightsnebraska.org/about_us/strategicplan.html