JEVS hireAbility hosted the 75th Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) Celebration last week with a virtual meeting and awards presentation that reached 100 Zoom attendees.

The event was hosted by JEVS hireAbility Director of Operations Julia Blackwell. “This year is unlike any other, ” said Blackwell.  “Not only does this year mark 30 years since the signing of the Americans with Disability Act, 75 years for National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 100 years since the inception of vocational rehabilitation, but this year we’re facing challenges like never before. JEVS is no stranger to this task, as we were founded almost 80 years ago, and since that time we’ve been helping people get to work and live independent lives.”

The proceedings kicked off with remarks by JEVS CEO Jay Spector, who thanks the New Jersey DVRS for its longstanding partnership with JEVS hireAbility, and who reaffirmed JEVS’ commitment to connecting people with disabilities to opportunities.

Attendees also heard from Karen Carroll, the director of the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Services in New Jersey, as well as from Robert Asaro-Angelo, the New Jersey Commissioner for the Department of Labor and Workforce Development, who used the occasion to remind all employers “to practice inclusive hiring and increase access and opportunities to those with a disability.”

The event honored four clients of New Jersey Division of Vocation Services (DVRS) and JEVS hireAbility, as well as the employers who hired them.. “All the DVRS offices have many more success stories that we would love to share with you but we could not get to all of them,” said Angela Lucas, employment manager for JEVS hireAbility in New Jersey. “The four individuals we have chosen to recognize today and their employers are truly an inspiration.”

The highlights of the event were the video presentations on each award-winning client’s personal journey.  View their videos using these links, or watch the entire event below.

Nicholas Cialini
With help from a hireAbility supported employment specialist, Nick landed a position at AtlantiCare, where he has worked throughout the entire  pandemic as an essential worker. View Nick’s Success Story >

Stephen Jones
Born with a rare genetic disorder, Stephen’s strength and perseverance earned him the nickname “Mayor of Shore Medical” where he continues to be an inspiration despite COVID-19. View Stephen’s Success Story >

Rebekah Lovell
Rebekah is a recent high school grad who was determined to find employment. Her motivation was key to her success. View Rebekah’s Success Story >

Lynne Stephens
Lynne is wonderful example of how finding the right “fit” in employment and an employer who is an advocate and champion for people with disabilities makes all the difference. View Lynne’s Success Story >

The employers honored were Shore Medical Center and Xanitos (who hired Stephen Jones), AtlantiCare (Nicholas Cialini), Wawa (Lynne Stephens)and Texas Roadhouse (Rebekah Lovell).

Learn more about JEVS hireAbility >

75th Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) Celebration


Posted in Blog JEVS Program: hireAbility