CHEYENNE – The Wyoming Department of Workforce Services (DWS) today announced its participation 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 about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Increasing Access and Opportunity.”

“DWS is proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Nicky Harper, the Vocational Rehabilitation Administrator at DWS. “We want to spread the important message that we value all perspectives, including those of individuals with disabilities.”

In this spirit, DWS would like to share this video message that features seven individuals who are pursuing their goals and passions as a result of the support they have received from people in their lives.

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.

Reflecting this year’s theme, throughout the month, DWS is partnering with the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and the Wyoming Association for People Supporting Employment First to share a variety of activities to educate Wyoming workers and businesses about disability employment issues and the importance of an inclusive work culture.

Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages – during October and throughout the year – by visiting here.