October 2021 marks the 76th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The purpose of NDEAM is to educate people about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion."
Governor Ned Lamont joined with state officials and advocates on October 1, 2021,for an event at Greenwich Library to commemorate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, highlighting the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement, particularly during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic. He said, “We are at our strongest when we include people of all abilities in our workplaces, and it benefits the entire economy to make sure opportunities and resources are available for everyone.”
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.
About one in four people in the U.S. have a disability, which is any condition of body or mind that can make it more difficult to do certain activities or interact with others. A disability can affect a person’s vision, movement, thinking, communicating, or relationships. Some people are born with a disability, while others may have them due to age, illness, or injury. Although people with disabilities sometimes refer to a single population, this is a diverse group of people with a wide range of needs.
In efforts to learn more and ensure people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement, the DAS Equal Employment Opportunity Unit attended the Commission on Persons with Disabilities Meeting hosted by the Disabilities Services Advocate, City of New Britain and participated in the US EEOC EEO Education Consortium Disability Forum on October 7, 2021. Furthermore, the DAS EEO Unit will be participating in the 9th Annual Disability Resource Fair on October 22nd, sponsored by the American Job Center, Connecticut Department of Labor, Capital Workforce Partners, Aging and Disability Services, Department of Developmental Services and Community Services.