Disability Employment Awareness Celebration for 2020 DEAC Virtual Awards, 30th Anniversary of ADA, 75th Anniversary of DEAM, 100th Anniversary of VR

Join us as we honor outstanding employers that are committed to hiring people with disabilities

Disability Employment Awareness Celebration

Tallahassee, Fla. – (October 27, 2020) The Florida Department of Education, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (VR), Division of Blind Services (DBS) and the Able Trust gathered virtually to honor outstanding employers that are committed to hiring people with physical and mental disabilities. Held each October since 1945, a national campaign celebrates the many and varied contributions of workers with disabilities and reminds employers of the importance of inclusive hiring practices.

VR’s vision is to be the first place people with disabilities turn when seeking employment and a top resource for employers in need of qualified employees. “Although the pandemic necessitated major changes in VR operations, I am proud that VR has continued serving our customers safely and without interruption,” said VR Director Allison Flanagan. This year we recognize from every corner of our diverse state the following employers:

  • Blackstone Medical
  • Cleveland Clinic Martin Health
  • Home Builders and Contractors Association of Brevard
  • Lake City Medical Center
  • Palm Beach Marriott Singer Island Beach Resort and Spa
  • Princeton Village of Palm Coast
  • TJ Maxx Tyrone
  • WaWa, Inc.
  • Winslow Life Raft, Division of Collins Aerospace
  • Your TEK Professional

Last year, VR served 572 businesses, 40,655 individuals including more than 20,833 transition-age youth. VR assisted 5,389 Floridians become successfully employed. This takes planning and problem solving to provide education, social and emotional support of Florida’s individuals with disabilities to build a career. “We are thankful for the many employers who do the work to ensure there is equality and opportunity in the workforce for people who are blind and visually impaired,” said DBS Director Robert Doyle. It is not just finding a job but helping our customers find a career that aligns with their individual strengths, interests, abilities, perspectives, aptitude and priorities.


It was 100 years ago when our Nation took a substantial step toward enabling veterans returning from WWII with disabilities to realize today the opportunities for more than 1.2 million working-age Floridians who have a disability. “Employers that focus on abilities and create opportunities for independence and advancement for individuals with disabilities are real Florida heroes. Their commitment and support provides much more than income; it provides community connection and purpose for employees and opens their company to a new level of support from customers and other businesses that value inclusion,” said Able Trust CEO Tony Carvajal.


The division celebrates in being a part of a collaborative group that makes it possible for individuals with disabilities to pursue meaningful life experiences through employment, support and community connections. Moreover, VR will continue to create opportunities into the next century for our customers that add significant value and talent to Florida’s workforce and economy.


Read President Trump’s Proclamation on National Disability Employment Awareness.


View the Disability Employment Awareness Celebration


Meet the Honorees


VR Helps Businesses Find and Keep Talent

If you are looking to diversify your workforce, look no further than VR. VR will customize services to your business needs. We offer referral of qualified candidates and proven inclusion strategies, such as interactive disability awareness trainings, youth internships, and on-the-job training. All business services are no cost and will help you build your talent pipeline.
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