October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Below is the official government explanation of what that is. The question is, what does that mean to you. If you’re not injured, maybe it’s, “Wow, that would be a hassle.”
If you are injured and unemployed (Household income for those who reported being paralyzed is heavily skewed towards lower income brackets and is significantly lower than household income for the country as a whole as reported by the U.S. Census — from our Paralysis Population survey.)
I’m thinking about Harold, and Donna, and Bill, who are in wheelchairs and work for us. That is sort of too easy, I guess. Of course we have people in wheelchairs working here. But I have to tell you, after about the first two weeks I was here, I stopped seeing their chairs. And second, these folks work here because they are good at what they do, not because of their chairs.
Prejudice comes from a lack of knowledge. It’s National Disability Employment Awareness month. Do yourself a favor and say “Hi” to someone in a wheelchair.
This effort to educate the American public about issues related to disability and employment actually began in 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 all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.” Read more.