St. Coletta Observes National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Posted On: October 29, 2014

~~Jefferson, Wisc - St. Coletta of Wisconsin continues its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of NDEAM is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.
The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces 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.

The St. Coletta of Wisconsin Access community employment program provides employers with capable, motivated workers.  The Access program facilitates matches of qualified people with barriers to employment with personnel needs of businesses in the local community. Through this program, people with disabilities are able to choose, obtain, maintain and advance in a job in a competitive work environment. 

Shane currently is in work training at Capn’s Roadhouse in Fort Atkinson, WI and is receiving job coaching through St. Coletta’s Access program.  Shane works three days a week from 8:30am – 11am helping around the restaurant by wiping down bar stools, cleaning the dining area and attending to the bathrooms.  When we sat down,  Shane offered us drinks and was very polite.  He went on to tell us about his job at Capn’s Roadhouse saying, “I’m in training right now, but hope to become a fulltime employee. I really love working and I love my job!”  It was easy to see that he was highly motivated and had a very positive outlook on life.
“When I put my mind to it – I do it! I am who I am, and don’t want people to take me the wrong way.  I work hard and want to achieve all my goals.”  When asked what his dream career would be, he quickly responded, “I’d like to learn more about business and maybe one day become a CEO!”

Capn’s Roadhouse Manager, Dashal Schopen, learned of St. Coletta’s Access program through the community. “I grew up next to St. Coletta and always had a desire to work with special needs. Sometimes individuals with special needs don’t get a fair chance in life and we can provide that chance.  I would encourage any business to participate in programs like Access, it’s a very fulfilling experience and it also continues the legacy of my Uncle Randy.” Randy Schopen passed away unexpectedly in 2011 but continues to support the community through The Randy Schopen Foundation. The foundation was formed to continue the work that Randy did throughout his life helping others, supporting our communities and giving people opportunities.

“Shane is a great employee, who is always willing to learn new skills, has a great attitude and rarely takes breaks”, says Dashal, “he’s a fun person to work with and be around.” Bob Schmidt, Manager of Vocational Services at St. Coletta agrees. “Shane is doing a remarkable job so early in his work training at Capn’s Roadhouse and they have become a wonderful fit for one another. It’s a pleasure to take part in National Disability Employment Awareness Month by highlighting Shane’s job well done.” 

To learn more about services offered by Access Employment, contact Bob Schmidt at 920-674-8219 or email  For more information on Capn’s Roadhouse, visit their website at