October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.  The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. 

Held annually, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is led by the U.S. Department of Labor - Office of Disability Employment Policy, but its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. 

770 Wilshire Boulevard

The Los Angeles Community College District (LACCD) completed the installation of new electronic openers on the District’s Educational Service Center’s front doors.  The push button control devices are wheel chair accessible and open both doors at the same time, giving people a wide path of travel.  There is also a push pull function on the door handles that make the doors open with little effort when not using the electronic push bar.  


Douglas Gwinn, Accounting Assistant, Central Financial Aid Unit, LACCD 

Douglas Gwinn is pictured accessing the new front doors utilizing the electronic control push bars.  Mr. Gwinn has been with the District in the Accounting Department for over 13 years. Following is his “thank you” note to District Management for the improvements to the front doors.

Thank you very much for the installation of new power front doors for the building.

As a disabled person, this is particularly helpful to me. I can either push on the long vertical bars OR, as I soon discovered, I can push on either of the door bars. From outside, the vertical bar is excellent compared to pulling on a door, though I could do that too.

It’s funny now to watch people who used to hold the door for me. Some of them walk through and keep walking (the right idea) while others continue the previous habit of holding the door as if to make sure it won’t close on me.  I’ve said several times, “Thanks, but the door is automatic now!” And I smile at them!

You have EMPOWERED ME!!! I mean, you have powered the doors!

Voluntary & Confidential Disability Survey

The LACCD ADA (Americans with Disabilities Act) Compliance Administrator, Mardy Kuntzelman sent out a Voluntary and Confidential Disability Survey using SurveyMonkey.  Over one-thousand employees participated in the survey throughout the District.  Of the employees, 14.2% identified themselves as a person who met the definition of having a disability.  This is higher than the national average for noninstitutionalized population with a disability, which is 12.6% according to the 2013 American Community Census Survey. 

The majority of employees who responded that they had a disability also responded that they required no accommodation to be able to perform their job duties.  Almost 31% of employees who identified themselves as having a disability also identified that they have been provided some kind of accommodation so that they can perform their job.  The most common accommodations included providing a new type of work chair, keyboard, mouse or computer monitor.  Some other examples of types of accommodations employees listed included assisted getting hearing aids through work insurance, being provided a smoke free environment, a “smart” class room so that the employee didn’t have to push around a media cart, and accessible parking spaces.

Thank you to all the employees who took the time to participate in the survey.