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Mayor’s 4th Annual Disability Awareness Month Kick-off to Honor Citizens with Disabilities

October events will raise awareness of how
Inclusion Treasures Diversity and Builds Community

Who:

Houston Mayor Annise Parker
Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities, Department of Neighborhoods
Houston Parks and Recreation Department
Community Partners

What:

Mayor’s Kick-off – 4th Annual Disability Awareness Month set for October

When:

October 5, 2012, 10 a.m. to 12 p.m.

Where:

Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray, Houston, TX 77019

Notes:

Mayor Annise Parker will kick off the City of Houston’s Fourth Annual Disability Awareness Month celebration, on Friday, October 5, 10 a.m., at the Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray, sponsored by the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), Houston Parks and Recreation Department and community partners.

Houstonians will join citizens across the nation, taking part in special events that raise public awareness of the positive contributions of Americans with disabilities. The theme of this year’s celebration is “Inclusion treasures diversity and builds community.” Nearly 20 percent or about one of every five Americans have some level of disability, according to the U.S. Census Bureau. There are approximately 600,000 people with disabilities living in the Greater Houston area, based on the 2010 Census.

The kick-off event will feature comments by Mayor Parker and a keynote speech by guest Bill Klein, star of TLC network’s reality show “The Little Couple.” The program will honor outstanding individuals and entities that have played a significant role in addressing and removing barriers for people with disabilities. The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities will present the True Blue Awards, the CARE Awards and the Special Care Advocate Award. The event will also feature live entertainment. Government officials, community partners and members of the disability community will be in attendance. ASL, captioning and accommodations will be provided.

A series of events reflecting a wide range of interests and concerns are scheduled as part of the celebration, sponsored by MOPD in partnership with the Houston Parks and Recreation Department, Houston Public Library and numerous community partners. Participating entities include: Workforce Solutions, Veterans Administration, Harris County Department of Education/CASE, MHMRA/Collaboration for Action/BAG, Houston Volunteer Lawyers Program, South Texas College of Law, METRO, DARS Division of Blind Services, Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities, The River Performance Troupe and Down Syndrome Association of Houston’s Pantomime Troupe, among others.

The Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities is a division of the Department of Neighborhoods. To learn more about the department, visit: www.houstontx.gov/neighborhoods.

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Disability Awareness Month – October 2012
Highlights – Selected Events

For a full calendar: www.houstontx.gov/disabilities 713-284-1990

4th Annual Disability Awareness Month Kick-off with Mayor Annise Parker
Friday, October 5, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray, Houston, TX 77019
Houston Mayor Annise Parker will kick off Houston’s celebration of Disability Awareness Month set for October. Special guest Bill Klein, star of TLC’s reality show “The Little Couple,” will present the keynote address. The event will honor outstanding citizens, organizations and agencies for their service and contributions to the disability community. The event will also feature live entertainment. More than 28 community partners and supporters will participate. Members of the disability community will be in attendance. ASL, captioning and accommodations will be provided.

“Out of the Shades,” Mural Unveiling & Reception
Tuesday, October 9, 12:30 – 1:30 p.m.

City Hall Annex, 901 Bagby, Houston TX 77002
Houston City Council member C.O. “Brad” Bradford will unveil a mural titled “Out of the Shades,” by local artist Doyle Burley. The mural depicts the many faces of people with disabilities, including members of the Houston community. A reception will follow. The mural will be on display at several event sites during October.

National Disability Employment Awareness Job Fair
Thursday, October 11, 9 a.m. – 2 p.m.

Metropolitan Multi-Service Center, 1475 W. Gray, 77019
This job fair will be hosted by Workforce Solutions, Veterans Administration, City of Houston and other entities.

Disability Awareness Fair
Saturday, October 13, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.

West Oaks Mall, 2600 Highway 6 South, Houston, TX 77082
Sponsored by MHMRA/Collaboration for Action/BAG, the fair will provide health and education information and other resources for persons with disabilities.

Career Mentoring Day Houston Kick-off Reception
Tuesday, October 16, 12 noon – 1:30 p.m.

City Hall Annex, 1st Floor, 901 Bagby Street, Houston, TX 77002
Forty-eight individuals with disabilities who have gone through a career mentoring program will be introduced as guests of honor at this reception. The program participants received assistance in the preparation of resumes. They were instructed on how to conduct job searches and coached on how to prepare for interviews. They also benefited from makeovers and were provided with professional wardrobes by Dress for Success Houston. In the days that follow, they will “shadow” professionals at various City of Houston offices and other work settings to gain insights on different careers. This “send-off” reception celebrates the participants’ aspirations, accomplishments and courage as they prepare for careers, gainful employment and self-reliance.

“White Cane Safety Day” Downtown March, Resource Fair & Celebration
Tuesday, October 23, 10 a.m. – 2 p.m.
Downtown Houston

This event calls attention to the iconic white cane, a tool used for safety and mobility by people who are blind or visually impaired. The event starts at 10 a.m., with a “White Cane March,” from Main Street Square at 914 Main Street to the steps of City Hall, Walker @ Smith. Houston Mayor Annise Parker will present a City Proclamation in observance of Disability Awareness Month 2012. A resource fair and celebration will follow in the City Hall reflection pool area, featuring information booths, displays and exciting performances.

Library Themed Display, Storytime & Other Activities
Dates in October

Houston Public Library – Central Library & Selected Branch Libraries
The Houston Public Library will host special displays and activities at the Central Library and selected branch libraries. The offerings will include themed book displays, themed storytime, storytime with sign language translation, a Braille presentation and a special performance by a pantomime troupe. For dates and locations, see the full calendar of events.

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