On September 29, The Arc of the Bay announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion”
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.
“Our national recovery from the pandemic cannot be completed without the inclusion of all Americans, in particular people with disabilities, ” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Their contributions have historically been vital to our nation’s success, and are more important today than ever. We must build an economy that fully includes the talent and drive of those with disabilities.”
Reflecting this year’s theme throughout the month, The Arc of the Bay will be engaging in a variety of activities to educate its community partners on disability employment issues and its commitment to an inclusive work culture. These efforts include the signing of a Memo of Understanding between Gulf Coast State College and The Arc of the Bay, where The Arc will be provided the first opportunity to fill any future job openings.
“The Arc of the Bay is proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Sharpe. “We want to spread the important message that we value all perspectives, including those of individuals with disabilities.”
Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages – during October and throughout the year – by visiting https://www.dol.gov/agencies/odep/initiatives/ndeam