October 24 2008 Disabilities Newsletter
Disability Takes Many Forms
A discussion concerning how worry can affect us so strongly that it can become a disability.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. I was surprised myself to stumble across this information on the internet. I have never heard this before but certainly feel that it is newsworthy.
This day of recognition began in 1945 as an effort to educate Americans about disability issues. At that time Congress enacted a law officially declaring the first week of October each year to be “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” Seventeen years later in 1962 the name was changed to “National Employ the Handicapped Week” by this time the country had realized the need to accommodate persons with all types of disabilities. Finally, in 1988 the week was expanded to a month and the name was changed once again to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.”
In a statement from President Bush regarding National Disability Employment Awareness Month, 2008 we are told that America as a nation is reaffirming its commitment to make sure that our Nation’s promise extends to all citizens of our great county. This is an extraordinary opportunity and all Americans should be made aware particularly those willing to gainfully employ those with disabilities. News of this kind should definitely acquire more airtime on our radio and television stations.
Census 2000 indicates that there are approximately 49.7 million people in our country with some type of disability or long term condition. According to the Census they represent 19.3 percent of the population and this does not include those who are institutionalized. When broken down this comes to nearly one person in five, shocking statistics when you think about it! How many of us have ever stopped long enough to realize the number of our fellow citizens that are disabled?
Unfortunately, these numbers are due to increase as our population increases. Having a family member with a disability I know that we often believe that our government and society do not offer enough assistance to our disabled citizens. Nevertheless, in comparison to other countries we actually do have a great deal of support in this country for the disabled. For those who have never dealt with disability it is often a shock when we discover all that must be done to obtain these services. I know from previous experience the road is long but nothing of value is ever free. It also goes without saying that there is much more that should and needs to be done but, we really are very blessed with resources in America.
In the past few years it seems that more people and resources are getting on the bandwagon so to speak to reach out to those with various needs. In the past few years I have learned of many organizations that participate in programs for the disabled. There is information available to anyone who desires to learn how to teach, support and be a valuable resource to our disabled citizens.
For a variety of information please visit the website National Council for Support of Disability Issues
I also hope you will take a few moments of your time and visit the Library of Congress web page on “National Disability Employment Awareness Month” at the link provided below.
Please visit disabilities.bellaonline.com often for even more great content about Disabilities.
To participate in free online discussions, this site has a community forum all about Disabilities located here -
I hope to hear from you sometime soon, either in the forum or in response to this email message. I look forward to your feedback!
Please pass this message along to family and friends.
Deborah Pipas, Disabilities Editor
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