October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month! Throughout the thirty-one days of October, employers are encouraged to promote the employment of people with disabilities. In support of this initiative, the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy has launched their “What can YOU do?” Campaign.
During each day of the campaign, employers are given tips and tasks that their company can use to create a more inclusive and aware workplace. These tips and tasks include such as activities as, supervisor and employee training and assemblies, participating in a disability-mentoring day, engaging with local media, and joining a pro-disability employment organization.
“What CAN you do?” is not just limited to employers. It is designed to encourage people and youth with disabilities, as well as family and educators, to recognize the value and talent people with disabilities can bring to the workplace. In addition to being supported by a website and social media, the campaign also includes Public Service Ads (PSA), which pay tribute to disability mentors and features people with disabilities talking about what they “can” do. It’s an effort to educate that disability is only one part of a person’s identity.
As whatcanyoudocampaign.org states, “People with disabilities represent the third-largest market segment in the U.S., surpassing Hispanics, African-American and Asian-Americans, as well as Generation X and teens. Add in their families, friends and associates, and you get a trillion dollars in purchasing power.”
Perhaps that is why October is the perfect time to recognize the important contribution people with disabilities can make to not just the workplace, but also the world!
During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Professional Diversity Network reminds you to join our ProAble Network, where we connect you with companies who are looking for diverse candidates like yourself. If you are currently a member, don’t forget to update your profile and network with other disabled professionals.