Disability Employment Awareness Month 2022


Disability Employment Awareness Month 2022

Oct 1, 2022

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History of the ADA

The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed by President George H. W. Bush on July 26, 1990. As a result of this landmark legislation, communities and workplaces across the nation have become more inclusive and welcoming for America’s nearly 40 million people with disabilities. Click here to read more.

Public Service Announcements

  • The “Working Works” PSA Campaign – Through the voices of several individuals, the “Working Works” PSA explores the many reasons people work, including after injury or illness. The PSA’s four primary cast members include Major League Baseball great Cal Ripken, Jr. and three other individuals who worked with their employers and healthcare professionals to make a plan to stay at or return to work following illness or injury. Their stories emphasize the importance of working together on effective stay-at-work/return-to-work strategies—for the benefit of individuals, families, employers and the nation.
  • The “I Can” PSA Campaign – At work, it’s what people CAN do that matters. That’s the simple message behind “I Can”—the Campaign for Disability Employment’s flagship public service announcement. In it, we meet seven working people with disabilities—not actors—demonstrating what they CAN do when given the opportunity. These women and men, who represent diverse career fields that range from corporate America to education, vividly illustrate the valuable contributions they make to our workplaces every day.
  • The “Who I Am” PSA Campaign – When we look at someone, do we see all of who they are? The Campaign for Disability Employment created the “Who I Am” PSA with that very question in mind. “Who I Am” features nine real people with disabilities—some obvious and some not—sharing how they describe themselves, from personal interests to family relationships to occupations. Among them is film and television actor RJ Mitte, best known for his roles in AMC’s “Breaking Bad” and ABC Family’s “Switched at Birth.” Rather than be defined by disability, these individuals are the sum of their many life roles—which includes working in jobs they love.

Supporting Local Businesses

  • Hearts and Flour Bakery: Bakery operated by participants from Misericordia in West Ridge (Chicago) which provides care and support for children and adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities. In addition to the bakery, Misericordia provides a number of other employment opportunities for its participants, including Hearts and Flour Bakery and Café and the Greenhouse Inn both in West Ridge (Chicago), and also the Sweet Shoppe in Glenview.
  • Chez Francois Poutinerie: Naperville restaurant specializing in poutine and to provide employment opportunities to developmentally disabled adults.

Individual Spotlight

Haben Girma was the first Deafblind graduate of Harvard Law School. Read about her incredible story here.

Local Non-Profits

  • Access Living – as a Center for Independent Living (CIL), their mission is to ignite disability power and pride, provide critical services, and break down systemic barriers to create a stronger, more inclusive society.
  • Aspire – since 1960, their mission has been to be an ally to people with disabilities, working together to pursue greater possibilities—and create better communities in the process.
  • Envision Unlimited – For over 70 years, Envision Unlimited has served people with disabilities across all ages, abilities, and backgrounds. Today, their wide array of home and community-based programs benefit over 2,000 individuals across the state of Illinois. Envision provides day programs, community living services, employment services, a foster care program, and mental health services.