Disability Employment Awareness Month Poster

Each October, Texas celebrates DEAM with job fairs, public awareness events, and a statewide #HireAbility campaign to promote employment opportunities for Texans with disabilities. As part of the public awareness campaign, GCPD partners with the Texas Workforce Commission (TWC) to distribute free DEAM posters to thousands of Texas employers and businesses to educate them on the talents and abilities of workers with disabilities, while sharing valuable employer resources through the HireAbility website.

The posters are intended to spark conversations on the employment of people with disabilities in businesses and organizations across the Lone Star State. The posters feature original work from an outstanding Texas artist, along with their picture and personal statement, and the national DEAM theme. This year's theme is "Disability: Part of the Equity Equation". Read below for more information on how to enter!

2021 DEAM Poster

In Our Hands by Kathyna Hatla

The inspiration for my painting, “In Our Hands” came from the dynamics involved in a healthy coral reef such as the Flower Gardens we have in the Gulf. Just like in our lives, it takes the interaction of many diverse and living things—in a multitude of colors, shapes, sizes and functions—to make the whole community successful and thrive.

In the same way, every single one of us needs a special niche where we can contribute our unique skills and natural talents. And in return, through give and take, have our needs met in order to reach a balance. The vitality of any environment or community relies on this equilibrium.

I am a 64 year-old resident of Bryan, Texas, and a middle school science teacher, a mother, and a grandmother. In 1999, I suddenly contracted Transverse Myelitis, which resulted in paralysis from the waist down, chronic pain and limited use of both hands. I am a user of a wheelchair but that does not diminish my worth as a person, nor do I let that be a defining factor of who I am.

Small obstacles never get in the way of fulfilling my personal and employment goals. With help from Texas Workforce Solutions—Vocational Rehabilitation Services, I returned to work as a science teacher and have continued my passion as a painter. Painting allows me to express myself through art, where my creativity has no limitations. I hope to be a role model and inspiration to my students and others by illustrating that even in the face of extreme adversity and challenges, dreams can still be accomplished.

If you would like a poster, please contact us and provide a U.S.P.S. mailing address. Posters are available free of charge while supplies last.

How to Apply

Original 2D art (including but not limited to paintings or drawings), and 3D art (including but not limited to sculpture or pottery) in all media are eligible.  The Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities will have the final authority as to what constitutes an acceptable entry. GCPD is committed to providing opportunities to as many Texas artists as possible; as such, a previous NDEAM Poster Art winner will not be eligible for competition until five years have passed since their last win. Simply download the entry form for more information on eligibility and how to apply!

Submissions will open Summer 2022

As part of our state’s recognition of Texas Disability Employment Awareness Month, the GCPD promotes the Texas HireAbility Campaign. Texas HireAbility is a partnership between the Texas Workforce Commission, the Texas Governor’s Committee on People with Disabilities and the statewide Workforce Solutions network. HireAbility hopes to raise awareness about the benefits of hiring people with disabilities and highlight the contributions of people with disabilities in the workforce. Each poster includes the twitter hashtag (#TXHireAbility). Resources to promote disability employment awareness activities can be found at www.twc.texas.gov/texashireability.

What Can YOU Do to Advance the Employment of People with Disabilities?

In support of the What Can YOU Do? outreach effort, the Campaign for Disability Employment is pleased to present the following video tools. Help us spread the word about the value and talent that people with disabilities bring to the workplace by sharing these videos and playing the Campaign for Disability Employment’s “I Can” public service announcement (PSA).