QWE Practice Guideline: 311:  Develop relationships with local organizations and the business community to provide opportunities for enhancing skills in development and employment

Target group: Any organization that supports the employment of people with disabilities

Practice Description

To bring attention to the overwhelming 70% unemployment rate for people with disabilities, nine local agencies, with direction provided by Beacon Group, Inc. came together and created a new local focus event, Disability and Rehabilitation Employment Awareness Month (DREAM).

Resources Needed

  • Staff and volunteer time
  • Event space
  • Marketing and Communications

Implementation Process

  • Beacon Group, Goodwill, RSA, Community Partnership of Southern Arizona, DDD, Linkages, DKA, Easter Seals/Blake Foundation, and Direct Center for Independence all agree to joined forces to make a large local impact.
  • Ron Barber, District Director for Representative Gabriele Giffords, an AbilityOne® Champion, and former District Director of DDD agreed to serve as the DREAM team’s spokesperson for the initial event.
  • The focus of the DREAM event is for it to be a press conference and job fair held each October at the Beacon facilities.
  • Businesses set up tables at the fair with the intention of interviewing and hiring people with disabilities for a variety of jobs.
  • Facebook events provide a platform for marketing the event. 
  • Registrations were collected through the DREAM page on Eventbrite.


  • During a two-hour period at the first event, 22 businesses set up tables and an estimated 500 people showed up for the fair.  As a result, 113 people with disabilities found jobs during the month of October.
  • DREAM events have been successful, and the events have taken place until 2019.

NPA: Beacon Group
Location: Tucson, AZ
Date Submitted: 2011
Website: https://www.beacongroup.org/