Oct. 7, 2003 --
In 1945, Congress passed a joint resolution calling for designating October National "Employ the Handicapped" Month. World War II had ended, and the nation focused on restoring the economy and getting disabled veterans back to work.
Over half a century later, October is now called "National Disability Employment Awareness Month." Proclamations are issued by officials; groups work to get news coverage of the issue.
On Oct 3, President Bush issued his proclamation: "For Americans with disabilities, employment is vital to independence, empowerment, and quality of life," it read. "... we reaffirm our commitment to helping them achieve their full inclusion in our workforce. ... I call upon government officials, labor leaders, employers, and all the people of the United States to observe this month with appropriate programs, ceremonies, and activities." (Read the proclamation at http://www.whitehouse.gov/news/releases/2003/10/20031003-15.html ) For historical interest, you can read the 1984 proclamation of Pres. Ronald Reagan at http://www.reagan.utexas.edu/resource/speeches/1984/100484c.htm Even presidential. candidate Howard Dean issued a proclamation: " For too long, individuals with disabilities have been on the outskirts of their communities, unable to fully participate in civic life...."
The Christian Science Monitor's "Ready, willing, and working: Some employers are not only accommodating, but actively recruiting disabled employees," by Monitor reporter Stacy A. Teicher was the first of what will be numerous stories this month on employment successes. Read the Monitor's story at http://www.csmonitor.com/2003/0929/p13s01-wmwo.html
The National Center for the Dissemination of Disability Research plans this month to disseminate weekly emails "about NIDRR-supported informational resources that are addressing the issue of employment of people with disabilities."
"The National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research seeks to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities by funding research into a wide spectrum of employment and disability issues, including economics; Federal, State, and community employment programs; accommodation; technology; education; and ergonomics and the work environment," says NCDDR.
"NIDRR's Long Range Plan (1999-2003) describes the unemployment and under-employment experienced by working- age Americans with disabilities. Data show that fully two-thirds of working-age Americans with disabilities are not in the labor force. Some research suggests that a substantial portion of this staggering figure can be attributed to disincentives inherent in social and health insurance policies, to discouragement, and to a lack of physical access to jobs in some cases.
"NIDRR has responded by funding a variety of research and related activities that will be featured in weekly emails from the NCDDR that will focus on centers of excellence, knowledge dissemination and utilization projects, and NIDRR-supported informational resources that are addressing the issue of employment of people with disabilities."
NCDDR's links to employment information include:
Center for Minority Training and Capacity Building for Disability Research at http://www.ncddr.org/du/researchexchange/v06n02/minioritytraining.html
Collaboration in NIDDR's Employment Research http://www.ncddr.org/du/researchexchange/v03n04/#director
Products Developed by the NCDDR Pilot Project http://www.ncddr.org/du/researchexchange/v04n04/products.html
The Development of an Individualized Marketing Strategy for Job Development for People with Severe Disabilities http://www.ncddr.org/du/researchexchange/v05n03/indstrat.html
The Dissemination and Utilization Process and Employment Research http://www.ncddr.org/du/researchexchange/v03n04/duper.html
The Federal Initiative to Increase Employment of People with Disabilities http://www.ncddr.org/du/researchexchange/v03n04/fiepd.html
The Unemployment of Americans with Disabilities http://www.ncddr.org/du/researchexchange/v03n04/uad.html
NCDDR's Electronic Library at http://www.ncddr.org/forms/registrysearch.html provides a centralized portal to NIDRR projects' online resources. You can search subcategories for employment at http://www.ncddr.org/cgi-bin/mysql/onlineregistry.cgi?category=Employment&camefrom=subject
"Currently there are over 43 NIDRR-funded grants providing close to 200 pieces of information about employment of people with disabilities in the NCDDR Electronic Library," says NCDDR.