Light It Up! For NDEAM is an event to help raise business awareness about the disability talent pool and inclusive hiring (photo provided by the Ontario Disability Employment Network).

Light It Up! For NDEAM is an event to help raise business awareness about the disability talent pool and inclusive hiring (photo provided by the Ontario Disability Employment Network).

Grand Forks to participate in Light It Up! For NDEAM

The event takes place on Oct. 20 for National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Grand Forks is ready to ‘Light it up!’

On Oct. 20, the Sunshine Valley Community Services (SVCS) and the City of Grand Forks will participate in lighting their buildings purple and blue in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). SVCS will place lights in their office windows and the City of Grand Forks will light their clock tower.

Taking place annually, Light It Up! For NDEAM is a one-night-only, national event to help raise business awareness about the disability talent pool and inclusive hiring.

“We are excited to start conversations on how to create an inclusive community and workplaces. […] We hope that community members and local businesses & organizations can look at their hiring practices to ensure they are including all job seekers in their hiring needs.” said SVCS agency director, Jason Zwaal in a statement.

According to their website, SVCS is an agency that works to provide community based support and services to those with disabilities in the Grand Forks area.

“Through our Customized Employment Service, people are able to achieve their employment goals and local employers gain a skilled employee, that they may otherwise overlook,” said Zwaal.

Light It Up! For NDEAM began in 2020 as an Ontario wide project for the Ontario Disability Employment Network’s (ODEN) annual NDEAM awareness campaign. Niagara Falls, Welland Bridge 13, the CN Tower and Kingston City Hall were the first landmarks to register. During the first year, 16 cities and 28 structures in Ontario lit up in purple and blue, with 11 businesses in St. John’s, N.L. also participating.

Last year, the campaign went national, through a collaboration between ODEN, the Canadian Association of Supported Employment (CASE), MentorAbility Canada and other community agencies across Canada. More than 300 structures in 113 cities and towns across Canada participated.

To get involved in the event, ODEN is asking people to wear purple and blue on Oct. 20 to show support.

More information on Light It Up! For NDEAM and other participating businesses can be found on ODEN’s website.