Disability Employment Awareness Month in Full Swing

Cynthia Parsons, pictured with son Shane, spoke of their mutual journey after he was injured overseas. Photo courtesy of Wounded

ARLINGTON, Va. (10/19/12) - The Army National Guard (ARNG) is observing National Disability Employment Awareness Month throughout October to embrace the skills that individuals with disabilities bring to the workplace and to reflect upon diversity within the ARNG. 

“Today, I challenge you to think about fairness in a different way: ensuring our employees have the resources they need to be successful,” said Lt. Col. Alfranda Durr, Chief of the ARNG Office of Diversity, in welcoming attendees to Arlington Hall Station’s observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
NDEAM is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
The campaign, observed in October, recognizes that all Americans are entitled to an accessible workplace, a level playing field and the same privileges, pursuits and opportunities as any of their family, friends and neighbors. 


On Oct. 1, President Barrack Obama proclaimed the start of NDEAM, citing recent improvements made in disability employment. In 2012, the Office of Personnel Management (OPM) reported on the federal government’s progress toward meeting the goal of hiring an additional 100,000 people with disabilities into the federal workforce over five years.
Today, more people with disabilities work for the federal government than at any time in the past 20 years. The government, including the Department of Defense and ARNG, is striving to make it easier to get and keep jobs by improving compliance with Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act. Throughout the month, similar NDEAM observances will be held throughout the ARNG’s states and territories. All are encouraged to attend to be informed about the challenges those with disabilities face, particularly in finding and maintaining employment.
“We are a diverse people in diverse places,” Lt. Col. Durr said. “You bring unique gifts and talents to our organization every day.”