Disability Employment Awareness Month is celebrated nationally during the month of October. In nineteen forty-five, Congress passed a law making the first week in October "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In nineteen sixty-two, Congress dropped the word physically from the name of the law so that people with all types of of disabilities could be included. In nineteen eighty-eight, the name was changed to it's current one and the week was expanded to a month. This year's theme is "Because We Are EQUAL to the Task.'
People with disabilities who are able to work want to work and contribute to society. We want to feel good about ourselves and know that we are making a difference. We have skills that need to be utilized in the workplace. All it takes is for employers to see past a person's disability and give then a chance to prove themselves. It also takes a willingness on the part of an employer to make the "reasonable accommodations",to enable a person with a disability to do their job effectively
The staff at Meramec gave me a chance. They knew how much I waned a job there. I developed my computer class so they could see I had something to offer them. They encouraged and supported me. Most importantly, they.believed in me.
To all employers who are hiring, give a person with a disability a chance. I guarantee they will work hard and be one of your best employees.
I hope someday. the need for a month devoted to motivating employers and making them aware of the ways hiring someone with a disability could be an asset to their company, will be a thing of the past. That we'll all be looked on as equals and be hired because we're the best person for the job.