FORT SILL, Okla - To recognize the contributions of Americans with disabilities and to encourage all citizens to ensure equal opportunity in the workforce, Congress has designated October of each year as "National Disability Employment Awareness Month".

In adeclaration President Obama said: I call on all Americans to celebrate the contributions of individuals with disabilities to 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."

This year's theme is "Expectation + Opportunity = Full Participation." It is intended to urge employers, as they seek to fill positions, to embrace the richness of America's diversity by considering the talents of all workers, including workers with disabilities.

Fort Sill celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness with a luncheon and Informational displays at our Patriot Club.

This is a new initiative across the Army under the Employment and Education Branch to celebrate and highlight our services and resources in support of people with disabilities.

The luncheon features guest speakers and community resource booths with information Oct. 13 at 11 a.m. Tickets for the optional lunch are $8.50 each. Please RSVP before Friday evening at 442-4916/4357.

During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we reaffirm our commitment to ensuring that our nation's promise extends to all our citizens and pay tribute to the accomplishments of the men and women with disabilities whose work helps keep America's economy strong. We also underscore our commitment to ensuring equal employment opportunity for all citizens.

Millions of Americans live with disabilities, and many other Americans will become disabled at some point in their lives. To integrate people with disabilities more fully into every aspect of life, our country is working to advance greater freedoms at work, in schools and throughout communities.

By expanding employment opportunities and fighting false perceptions that hinder people living with disabilities from joining the workforce, we can uphold America's moral values, strengthen our economy and make America a more hopeful place.

People with disabilities face many barriers every day from physical obstacles in buildings to systemic barriers in employment and civic programs. Often the most difficult barriers to overcome are attitudes other people carry regarding people with disabilities.

Whether born from ignorance, fear, misunderstanding or hate, these attitudes keep people from appreciating, and experiencing, the full potential a person with a disability can achieve.

Fair access to employment is a fundamental right of every American, including the 54 million people in this country living with disabilities. A job can provide financial stability, help maximize our potential, and allow us to achieve our dreams. As Americans, we possess a range of vocational opportunities to make the most of our talents and succeed in a chosen career; those with disabilities are entitled to the same opportunities.

During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we recommit ourselves to implementing effective policies and practices that increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

Each day, Americans with disabilities play a critical role in forging and shaping the identity of our Nation. Their contributions touch us all through personal experience or through that of a family member, neighbor, friend, or colleague.

We grow stronger as a nation when Americans feel the dignity conferred by having the ability to support themselves and their families through productive work. This month, we rededicate ourselves to fostering an inclusive work culture that welcomes the skills and talents of all qualified employees.

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