In the US, October is designated to recognize how people with disabilities strengthen the workforce and deserve absolute inclusion in the workplace. The movement to raise awareness began in 1945 with National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week, which dropped “Physically” to acknowledge all forms of disabilities, and transformed into National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in 1988 under President Reagan.
According to the World Bank, about 15 percent of the world—around one billion people—experience some form of disability; in the US, it’s about 26 percent of adults. In 2020, the Bureau of Labor Statistics found that 17.9 percent of persons with a disability were employed, down from 19.3 percent in 2019. Conversely, of people without a disability, 61.8 percent were employed in the same year.