Coastal Center for Developmental Services (CCDS) today announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Inclusion Drives Innovation.”
The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 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.
“Americans of all abilities must have access to good, safe jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving situations leads to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition and drives innovation.”
Reflecting this year’s theme, throughout the month, CCDS will be engaging in a variety of activities to educate the community on disability employment issues and its commitment to an inclusive work culture. These efforts include appearances on local TV talk shows, articles in the Savannah Morning News, “Take Your Legislator to Work Days” (where local legislators accompany a person served by CCDS on a job), a mixer/fundraiser at Billy’s Place on October 4, and speaking engagements across town.
“Coastal Center for Developmental Services is proud to take part once again in National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Cindy Burns, Director of Community Development at CCDS. “We believe there is value in all abilities; and employment benefits not only the person and the employer, but also our community as a whole.”
Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting www.dol.gov/ndeam.