By Cyndi Woods
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month! NDEAM was put into effect by congress for the first week in October back in 1945. I personally am so very grateful that our congress has recognized disability employment as valuable enough to dedicate an entire month for raising awareness. October also happens to be my birthday month so it holds an extra special bit of excitement for me!
The theme for the 2019 NDEAM is “The Right Talent, Right Now.” This theme is designed to point out the vital and essential role people with disabilities play in the work force. In a time of unprecedented unemployment rates, it is now more than ever that people with disabilities need to be seen for their contributions to the success of the work force.
The disability community can offer talents to a business that cannot be found elsewhere. In a time of greater accessibility from a technical stand point, employing folks with disabilities is becoming easier for businesses. We also bring a level of empathy, compassion, and grace to a situation that may not otherwise be present. My dream would be to own a business of my own completely operated by individuals who have been turned down in the work force simply because of their disability. We as a society can not continue to exist if we keep closing the doors to people with disabilities.
If you own a business, consider getting yourself a poster from The Department of Labor online to support disability awareness month. Maybe you are not a business owner but want to support this issue, go to the same site and download a copy or some of the other resources.
Maybe part of your fight looks like creating a social media post to support this topic. Maybe it looks like writing an article to your local newspaper. Maybe it looks like a radio appearance… whatever you have access too, use it.
If you have been turned down over and over for a job because of your disability, I plead with you not to give up trying! We can choose to be the ones who fight or the ones who sit on the sidelines while others fight. It’s much more rewarding to be a part of the group that fights. Be a Rocky Balboa… go the distance! Don’t give up! You could be part of the movement that changes history forever! Until next time, claim your courage, then claim your victory!