National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Month is observed each October to celebrate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities—past and present—to America’s workplaces and society, and to showcase supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices that benefit employers and employees alike. This year’s theme “Advancing Access & Equity” honors the 50th Anniversary of the passage of the National Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the nation’s first federal legislation to address access and equity for people with disabilities.

Today, one in five people in the United States live with a disability. Some are visible, while others are less apparent. This year’s theme reminds us that accessibility in the workplace is about all people. It is being able to identify and respond to the ways in which our environments might impede someone’s ability to access, understand, or interact fully and productively. By looking back on the achievements of 1973, we are acknowledging the past while looking to a more equitable future.

At Old Dominion University, we believe that all people should be given the opportunity to participate fully within the social and economic life of their communities, and to engage in diverse and inclusive workplaces. The University has made efforts to increase and sustain their own community by establishing the Employees with Disabilities Association, an employee resource group aimed at promoting greater involvement and representation of employees with disabilities across our campus community. The Office of Educational Accessibility also works tirelessly to ensure that students are able to successfully access and participate in all aspects of university life.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month reminds us of the valued contributions people with disabilities make in our nation’s workplaces, and the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 marks a major milestone in our nation’s ongoing quest to advance access and equity for all Americans. Therefore, the Office of Institutional Equity and Diversity, on behalf of Old Dominion University, recognizes the month of October as NATIONAL DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH. In doing so, we encourage the Monarch community to participate in celebration, and we call this observance to the attention of the university. Please see below for our 21 Days of Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, & Justice for resources commemorating the month.