Skip to Content

September 30th, 2021 | Press Release

A National Disability Employment Awareness Month graphic showing people coming together around a map of the USA.

(Trumbull, CT) — September 30, 2021— The Kennedy Center is proud to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate the public 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"

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.

“Our national recovery from the pandemic cannot be completed without the inclusion of all Americans, in particular people with disabilities,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Their contributions have historically been vital to our nation’s success and are more important today than ever. We must build an economy that fully includes the talent and drive of those with disabilities.”

Reflecting this year's theme, throughout the month, The Kennedy Center will be engaging in a variety of activities to educate the community on disability employment issues and its commitment to an inclusive work culture.

Kennedy Center President and CEO, Rick Sebastian, commented, "We are honored to participate in National Disabilities Employment Month every year. #NDEAM offers a great platform for spreading the important message that people with disabilities are a valuable and untapped labor resource in our communities.  The Kennedy Center supports more than 700 individuals who make important contributions to their employers and communities every day.”