National Disability Employment Awareness Month
In October, Americans observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month by paying tribute to the accomplishments of the men and women with disabilities whose work helps keep the nation's economy strong and by reaffirming their commitment to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens.
This effort to educate the public about the issues related to disability and employment began in 1945, when Congress enacted Public Law 176, declaring the first week of October each year as 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. Some 25 years later, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
Executive and Legislative Documents
The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, including a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to Disability Employment Awareness Month.
About This Year's Theme
The official theme for October's 2012 National Disability Employment Awareness Month announced by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy is "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?" Employers who ensure that inclusive workplace policies and practices are woven into the fabric and culture of the organization create an environment that encourages all workers — including those of us with disabilities — to work to their full capacity and contribute fully to the organization's success," said Kathy Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy when announcing this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme.