Department of Defense Education Activity

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Media Advisory: October 15, 2007

ARLINGTON, VA — On behalf of the Department of Defense, the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute publishes themes in conjunction with national observances. This year's theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month is: Workers with Disabilities: Talent for a Winning Team. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This annual observance, designed to recognize the contributions of workers with disabilities, began in 1988 with the Presidential Proclamation of Public Law 100-630 (Title III, Sec 301a). This law replaced "National Employ the Handicapped Week," which had been celebrated annually since 1945 during the first week in October.

Although several regulations exist to protect the rights of Americans with disabilities, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) of 1990 is perhaps the most well-known. When this Act was passed, it represented a promise that the Nation would no longer underestimate the abilities of disabled Americans. The ADA contains employment provisions to protect workers with disabilities from discrimination and mandates that all businesses employing more than 15 workers make reasonable accommodations for employees with disabilities. This law has played a critical role in helping to secure a future of enhanced opportunity and new freedoms for workers with disabilities.

Thanks to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), signed by President George H. W. Bush in 1990, we are aware of the energies and talents of millions of Americans with disabilities. We have seen evidence of progress in improved access to employment, public places, commercial facilities, information technology, telecommunication services, housing, schools, and polling places.

DoDEA employees around the world will observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Employees with disabilities make invaluable contributions toward accomplishing DoDEA's mission of supporting student achievement. As an education institution, DoDEA plays an important role in paving the way for children with disabilities to be successful in any society and know no limitations.

Contact the DoDEA school in your area for more information about their plans for observing National Disability Employment Awareness Month.