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Disability Special Emphasis

The National Disability Employment Awareness Month is in October of each year. It is a month-long tribute to the accomplishments of the men and women with disabilities whose work helps keep the nation's economy strong. The month also serves to reaffirm commitment to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens. 

From Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy:

We all have a role to play in — and benefit to gain from — increasing opportunities for meaningful employment for people with disabilities.  This year's theme encapsulates this in three powerful words.  It conveys that advancing disability employment is about much more than just hiring.  It's about creating a continuum of inclusion.

This effort to educate the public about the issues related to disability and employment began in 1945, when Congress enacted Public Law 176, declaring the first week of October each year as 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. Some 25 years later, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Program Objectives

The Disability Emphasis Program is an integral part of the overall equal employment opportunity (EEO) program and is designed to—

  1. Ensure that persons with disabilities receive equal treatment in all aspects of employment.
  2. Increase the number of persons with disabilities employed in all professional, administrative, technical, clerical, and other categories, series, and grade levels.
  3. Provide opportunities to persons with disabilities to participate in training, career development, and leadership programs.
  4. Encourage the participation of persons with disabilities in all NRCS-sponsored programs and activities.
  5. Provide a network of professional support for persons with disabilities.
  6. Provide mentoring support to persons with disabilities in the workforce.
  7. Educate all NRCS employees by raising the level of awareness of persons with disabilities workplace issues and concerns.

Part 403 - Special Emphasis Programs - Subpart B - Disability Emphasis Program

Executive Orders

Executive Order 13078 - Increasing Employment of Adults with Disabilities (March 1998)

Executive Order 13145 - To Prohibit Discrimination in Federal Employment Based on Genetic Information (February 2000)

Executive Order 13163 - Increasing the Opportunity for Individuals With Disabilities To Be Employed in the Federal Government (July 2000)

Executive Order 11478 - Equal employment opportunity in the Federal Government (August 1969)
Superseded Executive Order 11246 and parts of Executive Order 11375 applicable to the Federal Government, as amended by Executive Orders 13087 (May 1998), 13152 (May 2000) and 13672 (July 2014).

For NRCS Employees

Disability Etiquettes

Useful Links