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12.10.2021 By Sena Pottackal, Junior Associate and Disability Advocate, and Ethan Chiu, Diversity, Equity & Inclusion intern

Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month: Resources to Learn, Read, Explore, and More

Image with a photograph of a man to the right hand side in a wheelchair wearing headphones. He has been photographed in profile.

At Current Global, we champion disability inclusion and enthusiastically recognize employees with disabilities who enrich our culture and contribute to our success. Through various endeavors, such as our Accessible by Design initiative, we are committed to building an inclusive agency for all. October is recognized as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), and we’ve collected some resources to learn more and explore this month.

History of NDEAM

In October, our nation recognizes the countless contributions made by people with disabilities (PWDs) to workplaces across the country and the economy. This diversity recognition celebration originated in 1945 as a week-long festival called “Employ the Physically Handicapped.” The name changed in 1962, omitting the word “Physically” to embrace the experiences, needs, abilities, and contributions of all PWDs. Finally in 1988, Congress expanded and renamed the holiday to NDEAM. Learn more here: History of Disabilities in the Workplace.

Successful Professionals with Disabilities

People with disabilities are significantly unemployed. Although 61 million Americans have a disability, only 17.9 percent were employed in 2021, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. Despite the rare employment of PWDs, they often thrive within their roles. As we celebrate NDEAM, we highlight PWDs accomplishments in various industries. Visit these links to learn about entrepreneurs, scientists, authors, artists, and actors with disabilities.

Research Results

Employing people with disabilities yields mutually beneficial results. Research quantifies and qualifies how PWDs contribute to organizations and how employers can facilitate their success. Read these reports to learn more.

Impact of Colleagues

As allies and sponsors, colleagues play an invaluable role in creating a disability-inclusive workplace. To support your colleagues with disabilities, educate yourself about ableism, disability etiquette, and the experiences of PWDs. Review these resources to learn more.

Consulting the Disabled Community

Lastly but most importantly, we must remember and embrace the motto of the disabled community, “Nothing for us without us,” as we strive to build more disability-inclusive workplaces. Read these articles to learn more about disability and employment from the perspective of PWDs.

Staying Current

See what we’re doing here at Current Global to support people with disabilities, including our Accessible by Design commitment, our 21 Day Challenge, and personal blog posts from staff members.

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