According to the United States Census Bureau, close to 20% of the U.S. population fit the broad definition of having a disability. And yet, with friends and loved ones making up this community, statistics continue to highlight the significantly lower rates of employment of individuals with disabilities.
So how do we raise awareness and work to eliminate stigma, stereotypes, and discrimination? According to Nikki Huber, Access and Wellness Counselor, “Each October Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and strives to educate us on the value of a diverse work force.”
At Ashford, Nikki explains, “We are committed to an environment that respects and values diversity and encourages self-advocacy and self-determination.” Nikki also notes, “One of our primary goals is to ensure that students with disabilities are supported through their journey to graduation…We also partner with our colleagues in and connect students with Ashford’s Career Services to support the shared goal of finding meaningful and lasting employment opportunities.”
Having celebrated the 25th anniversary of the ADA in 2015, the 2016 Disability Employment Month theme #InclusionWorks continues to emphasize the critical work that remains and uses this October as a platform to champion progress and equity.
For those of us who want to learn more, Nikki offers this guidance, “Visit the United States Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy website and join the movement!”
However you choose to celebration Disability Employment Awareness Month, we can challenge you to use the opportunity to raise awareness and celebrate ability within your community.
Written by Ashford University staff.