Recognizing National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Colorful illustration of a diverse population

Coinciding with National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2021, the College of Pharmacy is using October to acknowledge the presence and contributions of persons with disabilities, both within the college and more broadly.

Broadly defined (by the CDC), a disability is a "...condition of the body or mind that makes it more difficult... to do certain activities and interact with the [surrounding environment]." It is estimated that slightly more than a quarter (25%) of all Americans have a disability, and these estimates likely underestimate the prevalence of disability within the U.S. Moreover, disabilities overlap with and across all other aspects of identity - including race, sexuality, and age.

While there is a tendency to simplify what disabilities are, disabilities are among the most multifaceted and varied representations of difference between individuals. They include differences in physical ability, as well as cognitive and psychological function; they represent differences which may be externally perceived or those that are publicly invisible; they can vary in severity, in whether a person is born with them or they onset later, and if they exist for the duration of someone’s life.

Here is a helpful tool that outlines many different possible categories of disability.