HARTFORD, Conn. (WTNH) — October is National Disability Employment Month.
The Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitation Services hosted an employment conference on Wednesday at the Hartford Convention Center to help people with disabilities find work.
The bureau is helping to create pathways for employment for those with disabilities.
“This is an opportunity to put job seekers face to face with some of the employers that here and hear about all the different programs,” said Alicia Kucharczyk, education specialist at the state Bureau of Rehabilitation Services.
The 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which protects people with disabilities from discrimination was also commerated at the event.
Training is also a big part of what the bureau offers.
“The training usually happens at the workplace. So, our workforce outreach counselors are responsible for helping facilitate that partnership with the direct job seeker and the employer,” Kucharczyk said.
45 employers were on hand helping people with disabilities find work. Last year, the Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitation Services helped more than 5,000 people become gainfully employed.
“It means a lot to me, considering my son has a disability,” said Monique Bolt, who is the mother of a son with a disability.
Monique Bolt and her son Jaden have high hopes of finding the right opportunity, despite his disability.
“We’re looking for technology. He does have interest in education, so early childhood education, so we’re just trying to navigate that right now,” Monique Bolt said.
“I would like to become a teacher and work at my previous high school,” Jaden Bolt said.
Organizers say one of the biggest misconceptions about people with disabilities is that they’re not able to work.
The Bureau of Rehabilitation Service allows people with disabilities the chance to try out jobs to see if they are the right fit, at no cost to the employer.
“What it is, is really breaking down the barrier to the employers. And we have incentives where we have individuals try a job at zero cost to the employer,” said Jonathan Richmond, a counselor for the Connecticut Department of Aging and Disability Services.
You can learn more about the Connecticut Bureau of Rehabilitation Services, by clicking here.