Earlier this month, the Alberta Government officially recognized October 2017 as Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Over at the DARTS office on 3rd Ave. W., Senior Manager of the Community Service Program Connie Funk said it's business as usual for individuals in the DARTS Career Development Program.
"I think 85 per cent of our individuals that are in the employment career program actually are working in the community. They work all over town."
The program has three main functions: it helps individuals with disabilities build job skills; it helps individuals with disabilities keep their jobs through training and on-going support; and it provides advocacy for individuals if they need it. Funk said DARTS infrequently has to advocate for people in the program, since the community is very fair to workers in the program and all the individuals make at least minimum wage.
"They have staff that help the individuals identify what their skills and abilities are and even help build different skills with them," explained Funk. "So, they do some assessments and help them do up resumes, and then lots of our individuals even volunteer for different things in town -- there's a lot of volunteer hours."
Funk said individuals in the program are an asset to any business that hires them. She explained that people with developmental disabilities take work very seriously and are very committed to their jobs.
"We truly believe that everybody can give back to the community either through employment or volunteering. And so, we help support the adults to do that and we get tremendous support from people in the community."
DARTS celebrated its 40th anniversary in Drumheller earlier this year with a small get-together in conjunction with their June Annual General Meeting.