By Mickey Schommer
HOWARD — New Perspective Senior Living in Howard was recently recognized for their “dedication and commitment” to keeping their workforce equitable and inclusive.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in Wisconsin and the Department of Workforce Development’s Division of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) is highlighting “Advancing Access and Equity” this year.
“[NDEAM] allows DVR to highlight the many ways Wisconsin employers are opening their doors and creating inclusive workplaces,” said John Dipko, communications director for Wisconsin’s Workforce Development Division.
“Wisconsin consistently sees more people with disabilities obtain a recognized postsecondary credential, or a secondary school diploma or equivalent, during participation or within one year after DVR program exit than the national average.
“Our state also sees higher employment and earning outcomes than national averages. All of this is a testament to DVR’s work and to the employers [who] are recognizing the value people of all abilities bring into the workplace.”
Outside of NDEAM, the DVR strives to work with employers to understand the needs of businesses between all 12 of their Business Service Consultants located throughout the state in order to create a more equitable workplace for employees of all abilities.
In order to promote education and the celebration of progress and inclusion throughout the year, Dipko noted that “every day DVR celebrates the thousands of Wisconsinites who receive DVR services or have successfully found employment.”
“Thanks to these events,” said Dipko, “other employers are taking note and reaching out to DVR to see how our business services can help them create an inclusive workplace.”
New Perspective Senior Living provides daily support for assisted living and memory care residents, or temporary help rehabbing an injury.
New Perspective was founded by Todd Novaczyk, after he saw the challenges his mother-in-law faced while aging.
“My mother-in-law, Betty, lived a full, vibrant life dedicated to helping others. After serving with distinction in the Women’s Army Corps during World War II, she became the sole supporter for her family after a car accident left her husband disabled. To make ends meet, she worked two jobs while caring for four children. Through her circumstances, Betty developed an independent spirit that carried her through all of her life experiences,” Novaczyk stated.
“Years later, as a widow living alone, Betty developed Alzheimer’s. While she learned to cope with the early stages of the disease, it was clear that as her condition advanced, she was struggling to maintain her strong, independent spirit.”
“National Disability Employment Awareness Month was declared in 1988 by the United States Congress for the month of October to raise awareness of the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In the State of Wisconsin, we set aside time to recognize our employer partners for their commitment to recruit and hire individuals with disabilities. This year, there are 28 employers state-wide that are being recognized,” said Division of Vocational Rehabilitation Business Services Consultant Lynn Hardginski.