Articles, Newsletters, Podcasts, and Video
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is almost upon us!
Disability often gets left out of the business conversation about diversity and inclusion (D&I) in the workplace. That is changing.
Organizations that understand the power of investing in the talent of skilled people who have a disability, invest in success.
2021 Theme: Engaging Talent in the Disability Inclusion Evolution.
Spend 30 minutes finding out why and how you can get involved in NDEAM this coming October.more
ODEN, and the Canadian Association for supported Employment (CASE) and MentorAbility Canada, are collaborating on the first-ever, national Light It Up! For NDEAMTM event during National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in October 2021.
Light It Up! For NDEAM spotlights the many ways people who have a disability contribute to businesses and their communities, helping companies be successful and competitive.
Watch the video to learn more, and find out how to participate in lighting up the nation purple and blue in communities across Canada, on October 21.
(Light It Up! For NDEAMTM is a trademark of the Ontario Disability Employment Network.)more
A Virginia man has shared his cover letter on LinkedIn in hopes that someone willmore
“They kicked me off the plantation, they set me free. It’s the best thing that could happen. Now I can work for my people.” – Fannie Lou Hamer
September 11, 2020
What does it mean to be free? Freedom means to
be out of any form of bondage. So, what does it mean to be in bondage? The life
of Fannie Lou Hamer expresses a clear example of what it means to be in
bondage. Everyone in bondage wants to be free, but only a few relentlessly
fight till the end for their freedom. It is easy to give up when the battle
gets tough. But there are some heroes –
like Nelson Mandela and Martin Luther King Jnr – that fight relentlessly for
their own freedom as well as the freedom of their people, even when this means
that they have to suffer persecution. Fannie Lou Hamer falls in this pack too.
Much of the freedom we enjoy today came with a price, a price that Fannie Lou
Hamer paid, by resisting oppression and injustice, and refusing to be silenced
even in the face of death, to ensure that her people were free and empowered.
But we must not let her efforts go in vain; we still have much work to do. We
still are not totally free yet. We still suffer racism and injustices and
oppression. Black people, especially those with disabilities, are still
severely marginalized. However, 2020 is the year! This is the golden
opportunity to make a turnaround and make our voices heard. Fannie Lou Hamer
advocated with her own life to ensure that black people could vote. Now is the
time to uphold her legacy by turning up for this election and exercising our civil
No true change happens if we choose not to
take an action. For ages, black people have been on the receiving end of all
sorts of discrimination. We have fought for freedom and justice and equality, a
struggle that cost many of our ancestors their lives. At a time when we could
not vote, people like Fannie Lou Hamer rose to challenge the status quo. This
did not immediately go down well; they had to suffer severe repercussions.
Fannie was fired from her job and chased from the plantation that had been home
to her for nearly two decades — just for registering to vote. She lived her
life with dreams to raise a family of her own, but the oppressors forced a
disability on her – an unconsented sterilization – with the unethical,
diabolical aim of controlling the black population. Today, black people with
disabilities experience arguably the worst form of discrimination. Ableism is very rampant, probably on the rise.
However, this is about to change, only if we allow it – by voting.
Before and during the time of Fannie Lou
Hamer, voter suppression, specifically targeted at black people, was real.
Unfortunately, despite all the efforts and sacrifices of our heroes from the
past, voter suppression is still among us. Black people are still
systematically denied the ability to vote, as proven by a study. Black people with disabilities are
probably the most affected here. With profound inaccessibility and systemic
ableism still plaguing our nation, it is no surprise that voters with
disabilities are blocked from the ballot box. But real change
will not occur if we do not make persistent, conscious efforts to see it
happen. This may involve some sacrifices, but this is the only way we can pave
the way for a better life for the next generation of black people, just as
Fannie Lou Hammer did for us.
Although Fannie Lou Hamer could not biologically
birth her own children due to the forced sterilization she was made to undergo,
everyone who supports justice and equality for people of color automatically
becomes her child. And, this year, five of her children – students from various
universities across the United States – are working with the American
Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), through the Fannie Lou Hamer
Leadership Program, to encourage voter registration among black people as well
as blacks with disabilities. A recent study has shown that voter turnout surged
among people with disabilities in 2018. We want to make sure that this
continues, especially with the 2020 elections right around the corner. Having
no choice of candidate should not be an excuse not to vote. We cannot continue
to sit on the fence and expect real change to fall from heaven. More black
voters are needed. More black voters with disabilities are needed. More black
people are needed in our political offices. We cannot enjoy true freedom until
we make these happen. There is no better time than now!
By: Tolu Adedoja, organizer in AAPD’s Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program.
Through AAPD’s REV UP Campaign, we are proud to announce our new initiative, the Fannie Lou Hamer Leadership Program. This program is designed for young (ages 18 – 30) Black disabled advocates who are committed to boosting voter registration and civic engagement across Black communities leading up to the 2020 elections. Participants will receive a $1,500 stipend and have the opportunity to create a national nonpartisan campaign that promotes voter registration and participation.more