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Team Hill celebrates NDEAM in October

  • Published
  • By Senior Airman Alicia Grant
  • Team Hill Special Observance Council

Every October, we observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month, or NDEAM, to honor those individuals with disabilities who made contributions to the success of this nation.

In 1945, the first week of October was declared National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. As we know, disabilities come in many forms, so in 1962, the word “physically” was removed from the title to show inclusivity. It was not until 1988, the observance week was extended and renamed National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

What exactly is a disability? A disability is a physical or mental condition that limits a person’s movements, senses, or activities. It may be visible or not. It is important to be aware of terms which may offend individuals with disabilities. The following terms are considered inappropriate when speaking of or to someone with a disability: “special needs”, “crippled”, “handicapped”, “retarded”, “stricken” or “unfortunate.”

In today’s time, we have witnessed disabilities go beyond the scope of physical. We have seen an apparent need of support and recognition for those who live with mental and emotional disabilities as well.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an opportunity to highlight individuals like John Nash, an American mathematician, who despite having paranoid schizophrenia, enjoyed a successful academic career and earned a Nobel Prize in Economics; and Joni Eareckson Tada who, after a tragic accident, at the age of 17 left her a quadriplegic, became known for her art, which she painted with her teeth, an author, speaker, recording artist and advocate for those with disabilities.

Remember to stay in support for those around you. Apraxia and mental health advocate, Jordan Christian said, “People with disabilities do not need to be fixed; they need to be accepted for who they are.”

Join us throughout the month as we honor individuals with disabilities.

• The National Disability Employment Awareness Month Special Observance Committee will host a Disability Accommodation Forum on Oct. 11 at The Landing Bingo Room from 11 a.m. to noon. A civilian release letter will be sent out via internal channels.

• The Persons with Disabilities Employment Program will host a Disability Mentorship Panel on Oct. 31 via Zoom from 11 a.m. to noon. The Zoom link and civilian release letter will be sent via internal channels.

The committee will also release “Did You Know” social media blasts throughout the month on Hill Air Force Base’s official Facebook, Instagram and Twitter accounts.