New Trier Township Observes National Disability Employment Awareness Month

From left to right: Patti Evans, New Trier Township Trustee Alan Goldberg, and Mimi Evans. The Evans’ were honored with the Friend of the Township Award for their dedication to the disability community through employment and workplace training.

New Trier Township is joining forces with organizations across the country to increase awareness of disability employment issues by recognizing a local township business as well as reminding residents of its disability employment service program, WorkABILITY.

Patti and Mimi Evans, third generation owners of Lad & Lassie Clothing store in Wilmette, were presented with the Friend of the Township Award for their commitment to employing persons with disabilities. In making the award presentation at the Township’s Annual Meeting earlier this year, Trustee Alan Goldberg, said, "Mimi & Patti are pioneers and true exemplars for us to follow. They have allowed persons with disabilities to work in the community and to live life like anyone else."

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The Township also provides a disability employment program, WorkABILITY, which is designed to facilitate the employment of persons with disabilities by providing a centralized service within New Trier Township, at no charge to residents. Individuals with disabilities, including special needs students, can meet with an employment specialist at the New Trier Township office to create an employment plan. Started in 2008, it is a collaboration between New Trier Township, Jewish Vocational Service, disabilityworks, and New Trier Township High School's Special Education Department.

"Although helping persons with disabilities find work should be a year-round focus, New Trier Township is proud to be part of this national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and validates the contributions of workers with disabilities," said New Trier Township Supervisor Patricia B. Cantor.

The history of this important month dates back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month."

New Trier Township is a financial supporter of numerous residential, vocational and respite programs delivered by social service agencies that serve Township residents, and provides advocacy and inclusion programs for persons with disabilities. The Township also provides a Community Support Grant program for an individual that promotes self-direction of services. In addition, an advisory committee on disabilities provides residents with an opportunity to create educational programs and recommend services and programs with advance the interests of persons with disabilities.

About New Trier Township
New Trier Township’s mission is to provide leadership, advocacy and resources to benefit the physical, mental and social-well being of Township residents.  Established in 1850, New Trier Township government serves the 56,000 residents in the villages of Wilmette, Kenilworth, Winnetka, and Glencoe, plus portions of Glenview and Northfield. The Township Office is located at 739 Elm Street in Winnetka or on-line at


739 Elm Street, Winnetka, Illinois 60093 P. (847) 446-8202 F. (847) 446-1743
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