Every day, the Dallas Regional Chamber strives to champion diversity, equity, and inclusion as one of its four core strategic priorities. We are thrilled to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, celebrated every October to honor the many contributions people with disabilities make to our communities.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month began as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week” in 1945. In the following years, several large strides were made to promote equal opportunity for, and prohibit discrimination against, those with disabilities. Some of those steps include the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990. Since 1945, awareness efforts have been expanded to include all disability types and to last the entire month of October. However, companies still have more to do to advocate for inclusivity.
This year, the theme of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” which highlights the importance of ensuring employment accessibility for people with disabilities during the COVID-19 recovery. As we enter the month, employers can raise awareness by creating an employee resource group, educating their employees, and certifying that workplace policies contribute to an office culture that includes people regardless of their disability status. Below are some specific resources to aid in celebrating this meaningful month.
Read and Watch:
- U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy | National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2021
- What Can You Do? | Celebrate National Disability Awareness Month
- Administration for Community Living | Counting Down to National Disability Employment Awareness Month
- U.S. Department of Labor | US Department of Labor Announces ‘America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion’ is 2021 National Disability Employment Awareness Month Theme
- September 30 | Virtual National Disability Inclusion Summit
- October 3 | To Be Like Me – Community Program
- October 4 | National Diversity Week: Disabilities, Diversity, and AccessAbility
- October 13 | Mental Health in the Workplace
Ways to Engage:
- Measure your disability inclusion – Take the Disability Equality Index assessment and develop your roadmap for disability inclusion.
- Connect on social media – Use your social media platforms to highlight National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
- Explore resources – Visit Disability:In to access their Disability Employment Awareness Month Toolkit for guides on topics like best practices and etiquette.
- Learn about history – Visit the Museum of disAbility History’s virtual museum and explore six different “wings” covering media, medicine, education, and more.