SLO Access for All Highlights National Disability Employment Awareness Month

SLOAFA Virtual Mixer Part of Nationwide Campaign

SAN LUIS OBISPO, CA – SLO Access for All, a field of interest fund at The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County, is joining the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy in recognizing National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of NDEAM 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.”

SLO Access for All will host a virtual mixer to discuss NDEAM and employment access and equity in San Luis Obispo County Monday, October 30, at 5 p.m. The Zoom link can be acquired through registering at Meeting Registration – Zoom or by reaching out to SLO AFA via Facebook or The Community Foundation of San Luis Obispo County. Employers are encouraged to attend to gain a better understanding of the current landscape for workers with disabilities in San Luis Obispo County, and how their business can support advancing access and equity as well as learn about resources offered through the California Department of Rehabilitation.

The history of NDEAM traces back to 1945, when it started as a week-long acknowledgement and focused only on people with physical disabilities. Later, it expanded to the full month of October, 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.”

In 2023 NDEAM honors the 50th anniversary of passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the first federal legislation to address access and equity for people with disabilities, and a precursor to the more comprehensive Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. 

“SLO Access for All is proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Sarah Flickinger, Co-chair of the SLO AFA Fund Committee. “We want to spread awareness, start conversations and encourage increased access, equity and belonging for all employees in San Luis Obispo County.”

The California Department of Rehabilitation (DOR), the nation’s largest vocational rehabilitation and independent living programs administrator, is also celebrating NDEAM this month. DOR offers EmployABILITY grants, human resources training, and collateral and additional resources through its Demand Side Employment Initiative.

“We would love to introduce more local employers to some of the programs that are available to support increased access to employment for people with disabilities,” said Flickinger. “That’s why we’re offering a virtual mixer with space for all who want to join the conversation.” SLO AFA virtual mixers include live captioning as well as phone access. Additional accommodations can be requested by contacting The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo.

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 More information about California DOR programs for NDEAM can be found

SLO Access for All is a field of interest fund at The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County, working and advocating for an accessible, diverse and welcoming community that values disability as diversity and encourages the full participation of people with disabilities in all aspects of SLO County life. This year the Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County is celebrating 25 years of making a difference through philanthropy leadership.

The Community Foundation San Luis Obispo County, celebrating its 25th Anniversary in 2023, is a registered 501(c)(3) non-profit organization created by and for the people of San Luis Obispo County to provide local charitable giving. Since 1998, The Community Foundation has awarded more than $66 million in grants and scholarships to nonprofit partners and local students. The Foundation’s charitable assets under management have grown to over $70 million to provide support to all areas of our community in perpetuity.  Learn more at