FORT EUSTIS, Va. (October 21, 2009) -- In October we observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month by celebrating and paying tribute to the accomplishments of individuals with disabilities as they help to keep the nation strong. The theme for this year's observance is "Expectation + Opportunity = Full Participation." In President Barack Obama's proclamation Sept. 30 he calls upon us to "celebrate the contributions of individuals with disabilities in our workplaces and communities and to promote the employment of individuals with disabilities to create a better, more inclusive America, one in which every person is rightly recognized for his or her abilities and accomplishments."

Why celebrate Disability Awareness'

Aca,!Ac To learn about an important group that is struggling for full inclusion in U.S. society.

Aca,!Ac To understand why laws were created to protect people with disabilities, and how they work.

Aca,!Ac To appreciate the great and small contributions people with disabilities make to our society.

Aca,!Ac To help improve attitudes and eliminate stereotypes that hold back people with disabilities.

Aca,!Ac To learn to separate people from their disabilities, so accomplishments are recognized without an inappropriate focus on disability.

Aca,!Ac To recognize that we are all just a heartbeat away from becoming disabled through illness or accidents.

Did you know'

Almost everyone will develop physical or other disabilities at some point. We are all "temporarily abled." Many disabilities, including learning disabilities, diabetes, and psychological disabilities, are invisible. Depending on how disability is defined, between 15 and 20 percent of U.S. citizens have some limitation due to a disability.

What can you do'

Aca,!Ac Learn about different disabilities and how they affect people differently: read, ask questions, and respect differences.

Aca,!Ac Support the efforts of people with disabilities to lead full lives, work at rewarding jobs, and participate in all aspects of life.

Aca,!Ac Correct and challenge stereotypes and slurs in media, advertising and everyday conversation.

Aca,!Ac Volunteer in your local school system or college classes as a note taker, tutor or reader for a student with a disability.

Page last updated Fri July 22nd, 2011 at 12:16