By DEI Communications
“Advancing Access and Equity” is the 2023 theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which is observed in October to brightly shine a light on or raise awareness of something we celebrate every day, i.e., the contributions of people with disabilities. In addition to people we may work with or live with, the following notable individuals and organizations have played significant roles in advancing the cause of disability employment and inclusion:
Justin Dart Jr., a disability rights activist known as the “Father of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA),” played a crucial role in advocating for the ADA, which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in various aspects of life, including employment.
Judy Heumann, also a disability rights activist, has worked tirelessly to promote the inclusion and employment of people with disabilities. She played a significant role in advocating for disability rights legislation, including the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 and the ADA.
Ed Roberts was the first student with severe disabilities to attend the University of California, Berkeley. He later established the Independent Living Movement, which promoted the rights of people with disabilities to live independently and participate fully in society, including the workforce.
Haben Girma is a 35-year-old deafblind disability rights lawyer and advocate who has worked to promote accessibility, inclusion, and equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities. She is the first deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School.
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a nonprofit organization that focuses on increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities. They work with both employers and individuals with disabilities to promote inclusion and accessibility in the workplace.
The collective efforts of countless individuals and organizations within the disability rights movement have contributed to the progress made in disability employment. Disability inclusion, however, extends beyond hiring, and the work of ensuring equity, inclusion, accessibility, and opportunities for people with disabilities in all aspects of life, including employment, is far from complete. And while significant progress has been made through legislation like the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), we must remain focused on equal access, inclusion, and non-discrimination for people with disabilities. Advocacy and awareness efforts are essential to ensuring that these civil rights issues receive the attention and action they deserve.
NDEAM presents a time to recognize and celebrate the achievements and contributions of individuals with disabilities in the workforce and to acknowledge the ongoing efforts of advocates and organizations working toward greater disability inclusion and employment opportunities. At TeamHealth, this recognition and celebration extends throughout the year.
We are the America we serve. Diversity, equity, and inclusion is about all of us. See more about TeamHealth’s dedication to DEI here.