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OPINION

October is NDEAM

Staff Writer
Herald Democrat
Michael Hutchins

Throughout October state and federal workforce organizations will work to recognize the workplace contributions of those with disabilities through National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

In previous years, I have written about the month through events that organizations like Workforce Solution Texoma has put on. However, this year I wanted to try a new approach to bring awareness to the topic.

Throughout the month of October, I will be writing a series of profile stories on individuals in the workplace with various forms of disability.

This started this weekend with the first piece in the series in which Janie Bates with WST spoke about the month along with her own experiences with disability.

In some cases, these stories include what normally comes to mind when people think of disability, including mobility issues. In others, I will cover people with less obvious, “invisible” disabilities, including those dealing with mental illnesses.

While many are willing to go public with their stories, some still aren’t ready to be as open about the issues they face. Hopefully that will change in the future.

I’ve enjoyed my work on this project thus far because it gives me a chance to tell a personal and perspective from those outside of my experience and perhaps that of many of my readers.

Ultimately, that is what this is about: taking a topic that may be foreign to some and bringing understanding to the table.

Happy birthday to Avery Jones, Johnnie Jackson, LaRhonda Jackson, Rhonda Bentley and Ariana Wallace, all of Sherman; Linda Hayley and Cody Morrow, both of Denison; Charles Hunter of St. Albans, Vermont; Travis Dotson of Trenton; and Nina Marshall Garrett of Bonham.