Disability Employment Month

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Did you know that October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month?

 

By Suzanne Filipak

 

Often, when you first meet someone, you may not even be aware that they might have a disability.  In fact, the latest U.S. Census report shows 49.7 million people in the U.S. age 5 and over have a disability. That’s nearly 1 in 5 U.S. residents, or 19 percent.

Meanwhile, according to data from the U.S. Census Bureau American Community Survey, the percentage of people with disabilities who are employed is just 35.3 percent.

The Department of Veterans Affairs is committed to employing those with disabilities.  Each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month, or NDEAM as it has become known, is a time to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme, “Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities,” focuses on improving employment opportunities that lead to good jobs and a secure economic future for people with disabilities — and America. This theme emphasizes the dividend we all gain by increasing employment opportunities for workers with disabilities.

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) provides individuals with disabilities with rights when it comes to employment. First signed into law 21 years ago next week, the act prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability. This applies to job application procedures, hiring, advancement and discharge of employees, workers’ compensation, job training and other terms and conditions of employment.

The following link provides stories of work successes of Federal employees with disabilities. Many of these employees have faced adversities and have developed solutions to overcome them. Some of these solutions include reasonable accommodations, which provide a foundation for the employees to successfully perform their jobs. These success stories represent a broad range of careers at several agencies.

Feel free to explore at: www.opm.gov/disability/success_1-06.asp

To see the October 3, 2011 Presidential Proclamation–National Disability Employment Awareness Month go to:    Presidential Proclamation

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