October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

As we move through October, the first thing you might automatically think about is Halloween. Of course, who doesn’t love binge-watching horror movies or dressing up on Halloween? However, today I want to touch upon a more serious topic. October “NDEAM” is also known as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Thirty-three years ago, the month was acknowledged by the U.S Congress to recognize and acknowledge the employment needs of people with disabilities.

The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion”.

There are many hardships that those with disabilities have faced, and continue to face daily. Hardships that we might not even think about because we haven’t experienced them. For example, lack of support, lower pay rate, discrimination, and underestimation are just a few that people with disabilities might experience at their workplace. Conditions might not be as easy for a person with disabilities vs. a person without disabilities.

Despite this, they have contributed so much to the economy and America’s workplaces. I would like you to put yourself in their shoes and think about all the difficulties that have to be endured daily. They have broken so many barriers and defied the odds. By celebrating NDEAM, we are promoting inclusion and opportunities for those with disabilities. We are acknowledging that there is an issue and there needs to be action.

We can help change this. First, we have to acknowledge the issue rather than ignoring it because it might not apply to you. We can start in our local community, and make our community a better place for people with disabilities. YOU can help. Whether it’s at your school, workplace, or even at the grocery store. Foster a great environment that you would like to live in and others would too. Without excluding anyone, for their differences- instead, appreciating them. Remember to appreciate, rather than alienate. This October, I ask you to please acknowledge and appreciate the hard work that those with disabilities have contributed to our society while keeping the nation strong and united.

Aracely Ochoa
ASYVC treasurer


Watch a conversation with YVC’s Malynda Dyer

Yakima Valley College student Malynda Dyer shares her experience with a traumatic brain injury and how YVC’s Disability Support Services has empowered her to achieve her goals.

Watch the TEDx Talk about Brain Injury

A brain injury is like a fingerprint, no two are alike

Kevin Pearce, a former professional snowboarder, is an inspirational public speaker and co-founder of LoveYourBrain LLC. He is an advocate for the prevention of brain injuries and the promotion of a brain-healthy lifestyle. This talk was given at a TEDx event.