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Disability Employment Awareness

Employment Awareness
Disability Employment Awareness Month

Disability Employment Awareness Month heightens awareness while recognizing contributions of Americans with disabilities to our workforce and society.

The annual celebration of Disability Employment Awareness Month heightens awareness while recognizing the contributions of Americans with disabilities to both our workforce and our society.

During this month we pay tribute to the accomplishments of both men and women with disabilities whose work helps keep the nation's economy strong and by reaffirming their commitment to ensure equal opportunity for everyone in America. The effort to education the public concerning issues related to disability and employment began in 1945 when Congress enacted Public Law 176 which declared the first week of October as, 'National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.' The year 1962 found the word, 'Physically,' being removed in order to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of persons with all forms of disabilities. Twenty-five years later, Congress expanded the week-long recognition to a month, changing the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The month of October finds people in America recognizing the value of persons with disabilities in employment. July of 2009 found the percentage of people with disabilities in the labor force at twenty-three, compared to the rate of seventy-one point eight for non-disabled persons in America. There is much to be done in relation to people with disabilities where employment is concerned, this much is plain, and awareness of disability issues in relation to employment is crucial.

Expect. Employ. Empower.
Expect. Employ. Empower.

The theme of this year's National Disability Employment Month is designed to capture the vital role that expectations play in our successes as individuals as well as a society. It is important that we ensure, as a nation, that both people with disabilities and their employers expect that they will fully participate in our workplaces. People with disabilities offer a wide-variety of skills and abilities to employers, with a level of loyalty that cannot be surpassed.

Expectations are not enough. People with disabilities must also have the opportunities available to us to work. We need access to a complete range of employment choices in order to maximize our talents and abilities. With both opportunities and choices available to us, people with disabilities will have the ability to maximize the many talents we have in American society. We will have the ability to contribute to the economy and build the communities we live in.