FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

Multiple activities aim to bring attention to the untapped potential of 1.3 billion people globally with disabilities

ALEXANDRIA, VA. (September 22, 2021)—Disability:IN, the global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business, will mark Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) throughout October with several events highlighting the talent and untapped potential of the 1.3 billion people with disabilities worldwide.

“We all have a role to play in building an inclusive global economy. We’re marking Disability Employment Awareness Month around the world with a phenomenal group of talented people who demonstrate every day that disability is a strength and a source of pride, and who, along with their allies, know that people with disabilities can and do make tremendous contributions to the workplace and society. Now, more than ever, companies are being asked to advance disability inclusion and equality around the globe. Gainfully employing people with disabilities creates economic independence and sends a message to a company’s customers, investors and stakeholders that they practice responsible capitalism and are committed to growing a sustainable business,” said Jill Houghton, President and CEO of DisabilityIN. 

Mandy Harvey virtual concert Voya Financial, in partnership with Disability:IN, will sponsor the “Mandy Harvey Celebrates Disability Employment Awareness Month” with a full band virtual concert to be livestreamed on Thursday, October 28 at 8 pm EST/ 5 pm PST. Harvey is the Golden Buzzer winner from NBC’s “America’s Got Talent,” who happens to be deaf. She will perform from her latest album, and be joined by other artists with disabilities including John Bramblitt, Paul Gavin, Lachi, WAWA and REVolutions Dance. During the concert, CEOs who are Disability:IN partners will share their perspectives on hiring and supporting people with disabilities, including one who will disclose a disability for the first time in a public forum. ASL and captions will be available. To watch the concert and CEO videos, visit the Facebook event page.

Pitch Perfect Challenge Disability:IN will host the final round of the Pitch Perfect Challenge on Tuesday, October 19. Three entrepreneurs with disabilities—whose companies are certified as Disability Owned Business Enterprises (DOBEs)—will officially pitch their ideas to supplier diversity corporate experts for the chance to win $10,000 in cash and in-kind prizes. The entrepreneurs will also receive a scholarship to Dartmouth College’s executive education program at Tuck Business School and have an opportunity to meet with supplier diversity decision-makers. Judges from Cox Communications, City National/Royal Bank of Canada and MGM Entertainment will rank the three finalists for prizes, including one People’s Choice business. Three finalists are currently being chosen through a social media campaign. Learn about the eight semifinalists on the Pitch Perfect Challenge page here.

Disability Equality Index The 2022 Disability Equality Index, the world’s most comprehensive benchmarking tool for  helping companies build a roadmap of measurable, tangible actions toward disability inclusion in employment and the workplace, is now open for registration. To learn more and register, visit the Disability Equality Index page here.  

Global Webinars and Virtual Events In October, Disability:IN will also host a series of business and employment-themed webinars and events around the world designed to advance disability inclusion in the workplace: 

Europe, Middle East and Africa Disability Inclusion Virtual Summit (October 13): Speakers from multinational corporations, governments and non-governmental organizations will discuss how they are advancing disability inclusion in the region. Register for the summit. Supplier Diversity and its ESG Impact (October 13): Corporate supplier diversity and sustainability leaders will discuss the growing importance of ESG performance and how diverse supplier inclusion, development, and sustainability are growing communities and driving economic growth in the US and around the world. Register for the webinar. Mental Health in the Latin American Workplace Webinar  (October 19): The LATAM Council of Disability:IN’s Global Roundtable will discuss the causes and prevalence of mental illnesses in Latin America, describe the most common workplace mental health conditions, and provide tips on how-to notice and accommodate employees. Register for the webinar. Virtual Corporate Internship Showcase (October 20): Hosted by Disability:IN Inclusion Works, this well-attended recruiting event will help college students with disabilities gain real-life job skills through internships at top companies including BAE Systems, Bank of America, Bayer (Catalen), Chemonics, Church Mutual Insurance, Citrix, The Walt Disney Company, DuPont, Experian, Facebook, Fiserv, IFF, Intel, Micron, Nike, PG&E, ThermoFisher Scientific, Voya Financial and Walgreens. College students with disabilities interested in participating should register for the event by October 13.  Additional information on DEAM events can be found on the Disability:IN events calendar.

About Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) Disability Employment Awareness Month is held each October to commemorate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. The history of Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945 when US 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. Today the occasion is celebrated around the world. 

About Disability:IN Disability:IN is the global organization driving disability inclusion and equality in business. More than 300 corporations trust Disability:IN to activate and achieve disability inclusion across their enterprise and in the broader corporate mainstream. Through the world’s most comprehensive disability inclusion benchmarking; best-in-class conferences and programs; and expert counsel and engagement, Disability:IN works with leading businesses to create long-term business and societal impact. Join us at disabilityin.org/AreYouIN #AreYouIN.