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Disability Employability Conference in Great Falls


May 11, 2016

Contact:  Jon Ebelt, Public Information Officer, DPHHS, (406) 444-0936

                Chuck Council, Communications Specialist, DPHHS, (406) 444-4391


Disability Employability Conference is this week in Great Falls

Lt. Governor Mike Cooney to speak Thursday morning


A free opportunity for both individuals with disabilities and employers takes place this week in Great Falls at the Disability Employability Conference at the Holiday Inn. 

Lt. Governor Mike Cooney will give a keynote address at 8 a.m. on Thursday, May 12. Other featured speakers will be Zach Anner and Marsha Threlkeld. About 180 people are registered for the conference.

Anner, who lives in both Texas and New York, will share his inspirational life story of overcoming being born with cerebral palsy at noon on Thursday. Anner’s book, ‘If at Birth You Don’t Succeed’, was published in 2016.

Threlkeld’s presentation ‘Engaging Employers and Job Seekers in Assistive Technology’ is set for 1 p.m. on Thursday as well. Her assistive technology work includes Apple devices and apps to promote independence, connectivity, productivity and inclusion. 

According to event organizers, the conference emphasizes the value of employees with disabilities both to employers and local communities. It also is designed to promote the opportunity of meaningful work in the lives of Montanans with disabilities. “Being able to work helps instill pride in individuals with disabilities and the communities where they live,” said Kelly McNurlin of the DPHHS Developmental Disabilities Program. 

This conference will offer resources to help people with disabilities find jobs and to help employers identify capable workers to meet their business needs. 

The conference will provide valuable employment information through sessions from state experts as well as national speakers. The event caters to job seekers with a disability, businesses/employers, parents, high school students with a disability, employment specialists and educators.

The event also includes a vendor and job fair. A full conference agenda is posted online at:  http://dphhs.mt.gov/dsd/EmployabilityConference