by Carol Leish, MA
October, 2022, will be recognizing the importance of disability equity in the workforce. ‘Disability: Part of the Equity Equation’ has been chosen as this year’s theme. This includes realizing the contribution to the nation’s economy made by workers with disabilities. Also included are the inclusion policies and practices benefiting workers and employers (www.dol.gov).
“A strong workforce is the sum of many parts, and disability has always been a key part of the equation,” said Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams. “People with disabilities make up a wonderfully multifaceted group. By recognizing the full complexion of our community, we can ensure our efforts to achieve disability inclusion are, in fact, truly inclusive.”
Recently the County of Ventura selected their first-ever Disability Access Manager, Dani Anderson, just before National Disability Employment Awareness Month. She will be expanding community engagement efforts and improving services delivery for individuals with disability access and functional needs.
“We are thrilled to have Dani Anderson join our team. She brings extensive professional and lived experience that will help us build upon efforts to ensure county services are accessible and inclusive of people with disabilities and other functional needs, particularly in emergency response,” said County Executive Officer Dr. Sevet Johnson. “Ensuring that our services align with the needs of our community members is critical, and we believe Dani is the perfect person for the new role.”
Anderson will be responsible for overseeing the County’s accessibility efforts and will work closely with the Sheriff’s Office of Emergency Services on emergency response, preparedness, and recover efforts, and will oversee county efforts to improve service delivery to individuals having disabilities. She will also manage various grant and disaster assistance programs and coordinate with multiple agencies and stakeholders.
As a disability advocate and public affairs professional, Anderson recently served as Senior Manager of Access and Functional Needs and Customer Care at Southern California Edison. She also has seven years of non-profit experience, previously serving as the Executive Director of the Independent Living and Resource Center. In 2016, she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Communication from California State University Channel Islands.
Anderson said, “Through working within the County of Ventura and with community partners, we will be able to enhance awareness, accessibility, programs, and services to contribute to an even more inclusive community. I believe my lived experience (being a wheelchair user) and my eagerness to create change in the County where I was born and raised will provide me with a unique perspective leading to successful results.”