National Disability Awareness Month is a national campaign held in October that raises awareness about issues for people living with disabilities, and celebrates the many and varied contributions of Americans with disabilities.
NDAM's roots go 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 various types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Awareness Month."
Americans with disabilities make up almost one-fifth of our population, but are unemployed at a rate that is twice that of people without disabilities; and for women and racial/ethnic minorities with disabilities, the rates are even higher. People with disabilities still face discrimination by employers, limited access to skills training, and, too often, unfairly low expectations.
We must continue to promote inclusion in the workplace and in our society.
We must tear down the barriers that remain -- in hearts, minds, and in policies -- to the security and prosperity that stable jobs provide and that all people deserve.
And we must actively foster a culture in which individuals are supported and accepted for who they are and in which it is okay to disclose one's disability without fear of discrimination.
The Presidential Proclamation of 2015 states: “America is at its strongest when we harness the talents and celebrate the distinct gifts of all our people. This October, as we observe the 70th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, let us pay tribute to all who fought for better laws, demanded better treatment, and overcome ignorance and indifference to make our Nation more perfect. In their honor, and for the betterment of generations of Americans to come, let us continue the work of removing obstacles to employment so every American has the chance to develop their skills and make their unique mark on the world we share.”
Disability Awareness Events: