This post was originally published on Michigan Chronicle

The Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council (MiDDC) is celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month educates the public about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of all workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.”

Reflecting this year’s theme, MiDDC will be engaging in a variety of activities throughout the month to educate the public on disability employment issues and its commitment to promote an inclusive work culture. These efforts include:

  • Interviews with employers and employees on how people with disabilities contribute to Michigan’s workforce,
  • A proclamation from Gov. Gretchen Whitmer to recognize the 77th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month; and,
  • disability employment web page with tools and resources for both employers and employees to help foster a disability-inclusive workplace.

“MiDDC is proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Vendella Collins, executive director of the Michigan Developmental Disabilities Council. “October is a celebration of the vital contributions made by people with disabilities to the workforce, and it is also an opportunity to advance workforce equity by building better work environments that are fully inclusive of the talents and skillsets of all people.”

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting