National Disability Employment Awareness Month
In 1945, as the United States began to emerge from four years of war, the nation faced many challenges. Not only were millions of veterans returning home and looking for work, but hundreds of thousands of veterans who sustained a permanent disability were also seeking to integrate back into their community through family, recreation and of course employment.
Long before the ADA, the Paralympic Games and You Tube were around to protect, showcase and increase awareness of all the capabilities of persons with disability, the nation had at least one prominent figure that served to show that physical disability was not a hindrance to employment. Despite adult onset polio, the use of a wheelchair for daily mobility and the use of braces and crutches for public appearances, our 32nd President, Franklin Delano Roosevelt, served 12 years in office and successfully guided the nation through two of the most harrowing times in our history; the Great Depression and World War II.
Although FDR did not live to see the end of the war, his example and the need to provide all veterans the opportunity to work and build careers led Congress, in 1945, to pass Public Law 176 that declared the first week of October would be annually recognized as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week”. In the late 1980’s Congress declared the entire month of October as “National Disability Employment Awareness Month”.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy has announced the official theme for the 2012 National Disability Employment Awareness Month is “A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?”
We would love to hear from you! What are you or your company doing to ensure an inclusive workforce? What are the obstacles you face in providing an inclusive work environment?
Here is a link to some resources to help you create an inclusive work force http://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/.
Links to Famous People with a Disability