Our team is proud to support 2019 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and Blindness Awareness Month (BAM). Held each October, NDEAM and BAM aim to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of Americans with disabilities. Throughout the month, we'll be engaging in a variety of activities to educate about disability employment and blindness issues and the role they play in fostering a disability-friendly culture
Why is celebrating BAM and NDEAM important?
Americans with a significant visual impairment have a 70% unemployment rate and more than 30% of adults who are blind live in poverty, according to the National Federation of the Blind. Many factors make equal access to employment easier for the blind and disabled community than ever before, including improved transportation and technology. But managers are still hesitant to hire a blind or visually impaired person. The New York Times reported that Americans fear blindness more than any other disability often misunderstanding the capabilities of a blind person. So, you can imagine that when managers learn of an applicant’s blindness, they have some unfounded fear in hiring the person to work for them.
Every individual in America and across the world has the right to live independently and to support themselves financially. Some employers still pay blind employees and other people with disabilities below minimum wage. This is not only detrimental to our livelihood and economy, but perpetuates the perception that people with disabilities can’t compete or hold a normal job. This is in the exact opposite of the purpose of the framework of equality created under the American with Disabilities Act. Goodwill is one of the largest organizations that continues to pay subminimum wages to people with disabilities.
I lived over 25 years of my life without a visual disability and it took losing my sight to really understand that getting a job and working is a privilege that not all people have, even when deserved. I can promise that if you follow us on social media this month you will want to celebrate people with disabilities; not only by telling them they are inspirational, but also by having them in your workplace, your community, and as mentors to your children. Blind people and people with disabilities are problem solvers, and innovative resilient members of the community.
Our 2019 BAM and NDEAM celebration begins today! Through our social media on #ZoesPack we are working to make this month a celebration much like Pride month. We would love for you to join us in the celebration by following on social media and sharing our resources with your family and colleagues. We will have posters you can print and hang in your workplace, playlists to jam to while at your desk, and friends sharing their unique experiences as members of our society. We hope you will join us this month in improving the ability for blind people to live the life they want and feel a part of our society. Join us to help make this possible!
Click here to see what we are listening to tonight: I Lived by One Republic
What are you listening to this month? Post a pic or video and tag #ZoesPack.
Don’t forget to follow us on Twitter to read interesting articles about disability issues—these posts are different than our social media posts on Facebook and Instagram.
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