City of Long Beach 
Public Information Office
411 W. Ocean Blvd, 
Long Beach, CA 90802

Long Beach Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Heather Blackmun
Citywide ADA/Title VI Coordinator
Office of the City Manager

The City of Long Beach will proudly participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October for the second consecutive year with two signature events coordinated by Long Beach’s Citizen’s Advisory Commission on Disabilities (CACoD). This year’s national theme is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.”

Participating in National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an extension of the City’s commitment to educate the public and staff about disability employment concerns while celebrating the many and varied contributions of American workers with disabilities. 

“Long Beach takes pride in its values of diversity and inclusion,” said Mayor Robert Garcia. “We are continuously striving to improve the quality of life of all of Long Beach residents especially those with disabilities.” 

Below is a list and description of the two programs the City will partake in:

  • Wednesday, October 4, 2017, Disability Mentoring Day, a national event coordinated by the American Association of People with Disabilities that promotes career development for students with disabilities through job shadowing and hands-on career exploration. Students with disabilities will have the opportunity to learn firsthand about career opportunities and experience a half-day in a professional work environment at City Hall with 29 City staff from various departments who have volunteered to be mentors this year.
  • Thursday, October 26, 2017, a public celebration to commemorate Disability Employment Awareness Month will be held at Veterans Park Community Center, located at 101 E. 28th Street, Long Beach, CA 90806, from 1:00 p.m. to 3:00 p.m. The keynote speaker during the 30-minute program will be Councilmember Dee Andrews, Council District 6. The event will include a resource fair specific to the disability community. 

“The work that our commissions do on behalf of the City of Long Beach is invaluable, and CACoD is no different,” said Heather Blackmun, Citywide ADA Coordinator. “They are a leading voice in our disability community and it continues to be an honor to work with and learn from them,” she added. “These two events are a small example of the commitment to inclusion that the City and CACoD has made to our residents—all of our residents.”

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

“Inclusion isn’t just a word to us, it’s a mandate,” said David Gauthier, Chair, Citizen’s Advisory Commission on Disabilities.

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

About the Citizens Advisory Commission on Disabilities (CACoD)
CACoD consists of community members from the City of Long Beach and representatives from public and private agencies, which provide services to the disability community within the City. CACoD’s purpose is to advise the Mayor, City Council and City Manager on concerns affecting the disability community. For more information, please visit

About the Americans with Disabilities Act Division
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 provides a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against individuals with disabilities, and to bring persons with disabilities into the economic and social mainstream of American life. The City of Long Beach is committed to complying with both the intent and the spirit of the ADA. The City of Long Beach does not discriminate on the basis of disability in employment or in admission to, access to, or operations of its programs, services, or activities. A Citywide ADA Coordinator has been designated to coordinate and carry out the City’s compliance with nondiscrimination requirements of Title II of the ADA. For more information, please visit