CSU Monterey Bay began with infrastructure built for able-bodied military members. Those facilities were in place decades before the Americans with Disabilities Act passed in 1990.

The university’s challenge to provide access – physical, programmatic, intellectual – far exceeds that of other employers in the area.

Disability Employment AwarenessBecause it has done such a good job meeting that challenge, and because of its inclusive philosophy and culture, CSUMB has been recognized by the Monterey County Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities as an outstanding employer.

The university, and five other local employers, will be honored at a luncheon Oct. 24 in Monterey. The luncheon will also call attention to the fact that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

CSUMB’s Human Resources Department completed the application on behalf of the university.

It noted that “diversity inclusion and innovation as cornerstones of our core values set a priority on physical and intellectual access for more than 800 staff and faculty members with diverse ranges of abilities and disabilities, and cultural sub-texts.”

In the last fiscal year, dozens of job accommodations were provided by Human Resources in coordination with campus Facilities, Technology Support Services and the campus Center for Academic Technologies (assistive technology for staff, faculty and students). Campus Planning and Development provided numerous ergonomic evaluations and also showcases an ergonomics lab for employees to explore adaptive equipment.

The Student Disability Resources office plays a part as well. Though SDR's focus is on students, through advocacy, innovation, and technical excellence, the office continues to spearhead ADA access across the larger CSUMB community.

Universal design principles are the hallmark of structural alterations and new construction on campus. Physical access from car or public transit into buildings, offices and classrooms is a focus. Significant resources have been directed to the construction of accessible curb cuts, ramps and pathways of travel.

“CSUMB prides itself on employing qualified faculty and staff of diverse abilities and disabilities,” the application concluded. “It is our philosophy and a well-integrated culture of embracing diversity that distinguishes California State University, Monterey Bay as an outstanding employer of people with disabilities.”

The other local employers being honored are Nob Hill Foods, Lewis Builders, Home Town Buffet restaurants, Monterey Bay Aquarium Research Institute and PRIDE Industries.