The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office 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 "My disability is one part of who I am."
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.
"This year's theme encapsulates the important message that people with disabilities are just that — people," said Jennifer Sheehy, acting assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. "And like all people, we are the sum of many parts, including our work experiences. Disability is an important perspective we bring to the table, but, of course, it's not the only one."
The Sheriff's Office will be conducting Accessible Parking Violation Enforcement throughout the county. A violation of these regulations consists of fines ranging from $58.00 to $140.00. When utilizing accessible parking areas, ensure that you have the proper registration plates or a placard properly displayed on your vehicle. Also, remember that if you are transporting a person with a disability and using an accessible parking spot, the person with a disability is required to be with you. Please ensure that you leave the designated accessible parking spaces available for those who need them—especially in densely populated workplace parking areas.
The St. Mary’s County Sheriff’s Office is proud to be a part of this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month," said Sheriff Tim Cameron. "We want to spread the important message that we value the diverse perspectives, including those of individuals with disabilities.” This is our unique way of contributing to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
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 www.dol.gov/ndeam.