ITD celebrates contributions of all with disabilities

Some people are born with a disability while others may become temporarily or permanently disabled at some point during their lifetime. All have valuable skills and talents to contribute as part of the nation’s workforce.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month and serves as a reminder that people with disabilities are an integral part of a diverse workforce and contribute each day to organizational and business success across the nation.

“Talent has no boundaries” is this year’s theme and posters are popping up throughout ITD.

“Providing all people, including those with disabilities, the same workplace opportunities makes good business sense,” said Human Resource Manager Mary Harker. “It is also the right thing to do.”

National Disability Employment Awareness Month began in 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 needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. Congress expanded the week to a month in 1988 and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

President Obama signed a landmark executive order in July that calls on all federal agencies to set goals for increasing the numbers of people with disabilities who are hired. The order also looks to improve the retention and return-to-work rate of federal employees with disabilities.

“People with disabilities are an integral part of ITD’s workforce, and access to fair employment for everyone is a priority for ITD,” Harker said. “This is a commitment ITD maintains every day, not just one month each year.”

Published 10-8-2010