BECKLEY, WV (WOAY) – The month of October is Disability Employment Awareness month.
Mountain State Centers for Independent Living has been helping those with disabilities become as independent as they can.
“October is a big deal for us here because we want individuals with disabilities to have equal and fair playing ground when it comes to finding employment,” said Mountain State Centers Community Resource Facilitator Kelly Elkins. “Many individuals with disabilities, that’s what they want.”
It’s not just October that Mountain State is invested in this cause. Throughout the year, they make examples out of those who are still able to live life to the fullest despite having a disability.
“We have consumers who love to go white water rafting,” Elkins said. “Who love to go hiking. They don’t allow their disability to stand in their way of doing what they want to do, and that’s what we encourage here as advocates for individuals with disabilities.”
Part of the focus of this month in particular is increasing awareness and representation for those with disabilities on a local stage.
“How do you advocate, and how do you talk to those elected officials?” Elkins said. “Right now, we’re pushing voting. We’re wanting those individuals with disabilities (to) get out, and let your voice be heard and vote.”
Mountain State is using the platform of this month to instill confidence within individuals with disabilities that they deserve a seat at the table.