Recognizing diversity and skills is sometimes lacking when people see someone who is handicapped in any manner. Yet, handicapped people are often able to offer as much to the workplace as any other person, and should not be discriminated against. Being disabled doesn’t mean inability to work or hold a job. It’s just a setback, one that can be overcome with determination on the part of the disabled, and understanding and knowledge on the part of any employer.
After World War Two, hundreds of thousands of injured soldiers returned to civilian life, many of them permanently maimed or disabled. Such disabilities didn’t stop them from wanting to work, to earn a living and provide for their families. In 1945, Congress enacted a law that declared the first ‘National Employ to the Physically Handicapped’ week, to address the needs of those soldiers. Today, veterans from every state in the Union, with varying degrees of disabilities, hold positions of employment in every work sector. Not only a veteran, but also anyone who is disabled, has the right to pursue gainful employment today.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month, observed every October, is a time for not only employers, but also citizens throughout the country to realize that disabled persons have just as much to offer the workplace as anyone else. The weeks serves to showcase the efforts made on behalf of employers around the country to use to the fullest the intelligence, abilities and managerial skills that many disabled people can offer to many different career fields. National recognition of the day didn’t really take off until the late 1980’s, and the name of the week was changed to ‘National Employ the Handicapped Week’. It’s a time for all people to face challenges and to test beliefs. Expanding technology now offers handicapped people access to places than ever before, and their contributions to industries throughout the United States should not be overlooked.
Today, regulations prevent employers from discriminating against handicapped people when they show they are able to perform the tasks and duties specific jobs entail, but the most well known is the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, which guarantees that as a nation, America will not underestimate the capabilities of handicapped people regardless of their disabilities. The law is vital in helping workers with disabilities not only find jobs, but keep them as well.
Due to accidents, war, and medical illness, thousand of Americans are stricken with one kind of disability or another every year. These people need jobs and income, and providing jobs for people with disabilities not only helps them, but America as a whole. When disabled persons are allowed to work and support themselves, their care is no longer relegated to the government. Ultimately, Americans save money on their taxes and the disabled are treated as they deserve to be.
Schools around the country, as well as public service organizations, try to encourage all disabled people, regardless of age, to challenge not only the public at large, but themselves as well, to work and provide services for any kind of business. Being handicapped doesn’t prevent many people from working, but the discrimination of employers keeps them from such endeavors. Nationwide campaigns prevail every October in an effort to provide information and inform the public on the limitless skills, ideas and creativity that can be found in every American, disabled or not.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a time that is observed and recognized for the encouragement and support of all disabled Americans that it, and its millions of supporters nationwide, offer. Every citizen of the United States has something to offer, whether it’s physical, mental, or emotional, and unique abilities exist within all Americans. National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an opportunity for each America to recognize that fact, and embrace it.