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Posted on October 23, 2016 | 12:59 p.m.

Four Local Organizations Honored for Increasing Employment Access to People with Disabilities

12th Annual Mayor’s Awards Event Marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Source: Heather Wennergren for Mayor's Awards event

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider awarded four local organizations for their efforts to increase access and facilitate employment for people with disabilities. The recipients were honored at this year’s 12th Annual Mayor’s Awards, a community breakfast event in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
La Cumbre Plaza received an award for design and accessibility for providing equal access and aesthetic access for people of all abilities. Fund for Santa Barbara received the Non-profit Award for being inclusive and respectful of people with disabilities in everything they do. Also receiving an award was Ramada Santa Barbara.

Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, center, with recipients of 12th Annual Mayor’s Awards. Click to view larger
Santa Barbara Mayor Helene Schneider, center, with recipients of 12th Annual Mayor’s Awards. (Heather Wennergren)

GM Tom Patton accepted the Outstanding Effort Award for dedication to hiring and retaining employees with disabilities. The Employment/Accommodation Award went to Best Buy.

Jon Rosales meets challenges head-on. He's in a wheelchair due to his disability, but that does not slow him down. When he applied for a position at Best Buy, the store stepped right up and furnished him with state-of-the-art adaptive technology and modified his work area allowing him to get closer to the computer.

Now Rosales has the opportunity to provide others with the exemplary service he enjoyed as a customer.

“Having a job has changed my life,” Rosales said. "I just love the people I work with. They’re very caring, understanding and helpful. I love the fact that I don’t feel like I’m the oddball out; I feel I’m a part of the team.”
Employers interested in learning more about resources like job coaches or being part of the event should contact Heather Wennergren at [email protected]

— Heather Wennergren for Mayor's Awards event.

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