Robins marks Disability Employment Awareness Month with October events

  • Published
  • By Holly Logan-Arrington
  • Robins Public Affairs

At Robins Air Force Base, disabilities become abilities with the right accommodations.

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

This year’s theme is "America’s Workforce: Empowering All."

Jill Abushanab, an Employee Relations Human Resources specialist for Robins’ Civilian Personnel, who also serves as the 78th Air Base Wing Disability Program manager, said creating a conversation around disability, or any diversity topic for that matter, gives people the opportunity to understand each other.

“Attitudinal barriers that often lead to discrimination cannot be overcome simply through laws,” she said. “The best remedy is familiarity – getting people with and without disabilities to mingle as co-workers, associates and social acquaintances. In time, most of the attitudes will give way to comfort, respect and friendship.”

Robins will host a Disability Employment Awareness Month event at the Georgia Veterans Education Career Transition Resource Center Oct. 4, at 9:30 a.m. in Bldg. 988, Rm 114.

The Georgia VECTR Center will be having a presentation with regards to their facility and what is offered at their center for disabled veterans. In addition, there will be representatives from the Georgia Department of Veterans Service, United Way Mission and the VECTR Community Support/Resiliency Officer.

On Oct. 16 at 9:30 a.m., Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency will be on hand in Bldg. 988, Rm 114.

“The Georgia Vocational Rehabilitation Agency will be having a presentation with regards to their facility and what is offered at their center for individuals with disabilities,” she said.

Abushanab said awareness and sensitization around disabilities in the workplace aim to increase, awareness, understanding and knowledge about disabilities in order to promote an inclusive workplace.

“Initiatives are interactive, provoke attitudinal change, and empower delegates to follow best practice, thus reducing discriminatory behavior within the workplace,” she said.

The National Disability Employee Awareness Month's roots go 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." Upon its establishment in 2001, the office of Disability Employment Policy assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope ever since.

For more information on Robins’ Employment Disability Awareness Month events, visit Robins Facebook page or check Robins’ Splash page. Those interested may also call Jill Abushanab at 478-222-7671.