National Disability Employment Awareness Month kicks off

President Barack Obama released a proclamation October 3 in honor of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Man in chair with business card & briefcase
Employment Awareness Month

He highlighted recent efforts by his administration to promote “competitive, integrated employment” for persons with disabilities by private business and the federal government, as well as educational improvement efforts and new accessibility regulations to help individuals become involved in the workforce.

“To win the future, we must harness the power of our Nation’s richest resource — our people.  Americans with disabilities, like all Americans, are entitled to not only full participation in our society, but also full opportunity in our society,” Obama stated. “Their talents and contributions are vital to the strength of our Nation’s workforce and our future prosperity.  Together, we can ensure persons living with disabilities have equal access to employment, and to inclusive, supportive workplaces.”

This year’s theme is “Profit in Investing in Workers with Disabilities.” A video from Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, can be viewed here.

Disability Employment Awareness Month dates back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week of October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” The week expand to a year in 1988.