Oct. 13, 2020
According to the National Library Service’s (NLS) website, Americans observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October. The observance pays tribute to the accomplishments of the men and women with disabilities whose work helps keep the nation’s economy strong and by reaffirming their commitment to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens.
This effort to educate the public about the issues related to disability and employment began in 1945, when Congress enacted Public Law 176, declaring the first week of October each year as 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. Some 25 years later, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
The national theme for 2020 is “Increasing Access and Opportunity – Celebrating 30 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and 75 years of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).” For additional details, visit the Office of Disability Employment Policy’s website and the National Library Service’s website at https://www.loc.gov/accessibility/disability-employment-awareness-month/.
For staff at the Alabama Regional Library for the Blind (BPH), a division of the Alabama Public Library Service (APLS), reminders occur each day of how important it is to recognize the abilities of individuals with disabilities. Tim Emmons is a senior librarian who has worked in BPH for 15 years. He is an integral part of life in the division and he works directly in assisting residents throughout the state receive the best in audio and Braille books. Additionally, Tim is the “go to” person for technology related questions from library patrons. Recently, Tim has been accepted to participate in the NLS Reading Technology Advisory Group (RTAG). RTAG members work with others in the NLS community, including patrons, network library staff, hardware repair volunteers, and subject matter experts, to review, evaluate, and provide valuable feedback on NLS products and initiatives. In this photo, Tim and his service dog Cody are preparing to place Braille book bags in the outgoing mail container. Congratulations Tim! It is great to have you on our team.