October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
In 1945, Congress declared the first week in October of each year as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, the word “physically” was deleted to acknowledge the needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
In honor of NDEAM, each year the sitting president signs a National Disability Employment Awareness Month declaration. President Joe Biden signed the National Disability Employment Awareness Month proclamation Sept. 30, kicking off the month of providing education and awareness to the workforce.
Thirty-one years ago, President George Bush signed the Americans with Disabilities Act which prohibits discrimination based on disability. It affords similar protection against discrimination to Americans with disabilities as the Civil Rights Act of 1964. It was also established to ensure this nation moved closer to fulfilling its foundational promise of liberty, justice, dignity and equality for all.
“America’s Recover – Powered by Inclusion” is the theme for this year’s observance. It reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Garrison acknowledges and considers each individual an essential asset to the mission and continues to push to meet the Army’s goal of having 12% of its workforce be people with disabilities and 2% of its workforce be people with targeted disabilities.