National Disability Employment Awareness Month
October marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which recognizes the contributions that people with disabilities have in the workplace and on the economy. It also aims to create awareness of the employment needs of those who have disabilities.
To that effect, the theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2021 is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion” — which highlights the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have access to employment and community involvement during the COVID-19 pandemic.
Originally, the United States government’s efforts to educate the public about employment issues relating to those with disabilities began in 1945. That year, Congress enacted Public Law 176, which established the first week of October as a week to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of people with disabilities. In 1988, it was expanded to its current month-long status.
Two years later in 1990, President George H.W. Bush signed into law the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a civil rights law that prohibits discrimination based on disability. The landmark law also requires employers to provide reasonable accommodations to employees with disabilities. In addition, it established accessibility requirements for public accommodations.
We at TwinStar want to honor the impact that men and women with disabilities have on our workplace and economy. We are a proud sponsor of two local nonprofit organizations that are dedicated to providing training and employment opportunities for people with disabilities:
- Morningside provides employment services for those with disabilities, aiming to match their skills and interests with local jobs. Since 1963, Morningside has placed people with disabilities into jobs throughout five counties in Western Washington.
- Lewis County Work Opportunities was established in 1971 to help people with disabilities learn and develop the skills they need to secure private sector jobs. During this time, LCWO has helped more than 3,000 adults with disabilities.
As we observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we'd like to recognize our TwinStar members and staff who have disabilities. We are thankful for their contributions and impact on their communities’ livelihoods.