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Planning ahead for 2019: National events to support diversity and disability inclusion

Planning ahead for 2019: National events to support diversity and disability inclusion


Image of a desk with a laptop and full 2019 calendar where a woman is writing in the diversity and disability holiday's she plans to promote on social media!

Annually there are national and international events that enable us to recognize individuals with disabilities and the importance of diversity within the workplace and our communities.

 

To help inclusive employers, advocacy groups, media and individuals plan for their 2019 celebratory campaigns, Getting Hired created a list of some of the top awareness campaigns you should consider including in your 2019 strategy.

 

January celebratory days

 

At Getting Hired, we promote and celebrate the New Year by driving awareness to the celebration of:

 

  • Glaucoma Awareness Month - According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, there are more than three million people in the United States that have glaucoma with the National Eye Institute projecting a 58 percent increase by 2030.
  • Martin Luther King Jr. Day is an annual holiday observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, January 15th. Dr. King is most known for his activism leading the civil rights movement in the 1950’s and 60’s.

February celebratory days

 

February is the shortest month of the year but has plenty of celebratory days for individuals and employers to recognize:

 

  • Black History Month (also known as African American History Month) is an important month for employers to take the opportunity to recognize and honor the accomplishments and sacrifices from African Americans in American society.
  • Low Vision Awareness Month is celebrated to raise awareness about vision rehabilitation as the number of Americans with visual impairments is projected to reach 5 million individuals with low vision by 2030.
  • Heart Awareness Month is celebrated throughout February to spread awareness to heart disease risks. You can learn more about those at risk and how you can take control of your heart health from the CDC here.
  • Go Red for Women takes place on February 1st and is led by the American Heart Association to empower women to take control of their heart health. Spread awareness by sharing the #GoRedforWomen hashtag and take a team picture wearing red for social media!
  • World Cancer Day is recognized on February 4th as cancer continues to be one of the most destructive illnesses for individuals around the world, with nearly one in six deaths globally attributed to this disease.
  • International Epilepsy Day is recognized on the second Monday in February to increase awareness and education about seizures. International Epilepsy Day will be February 11th in 2019.

March celebratory days

 

The month of March brings several awareness days for individuals to celebrate, not only for individuals with disabilities but also International Women’s Day, which is one diversity holiday employers should be keen on supporting:

 

  • Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month – Cerebral palsy is a neurological disability where muscle movement and coordination are typically impacted although cerebral palsy impacts everyone differently. The celebratory color for cerebral palsy is green; you can celebrate with a team picture where everyone is wearing green!
  • Developmental Disabilities Month was introduced in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan. Developmental disabilities are severe, chronic conditions that impact a person in their formative years, including autism, behavioral disorders and intellectual disabilities.
  • Deaf History Month takes place annually from March 13th to April 15th. Deaf History Month is a chance for communities and employers to come together to improve their understanding and support of the deaf community.
  • International Wheelchair Day is celebrated annually on March 1st. The celebratory day launched in 2008 for individuals to share the positive impact a wheelchair has on their lives.
  • International Women's Day will be recognized on March 8, 2019 and this year’s theme is #BalanceforBetter so be sure to include this hashtag in your social posts!
  • World Down Syndrome Day is on March 21st. You can celebrate by sharing the 2019 campaign to ensure “no one is left behind” and share your bright socks on social with the hashtag #LotsofSocks. Ensure all of your social media campaigns include the hashtag #WDSD19.
  • Purple Day for Epilepsy is celebrated on March 26th every year. To show your support, wear purple and host events in support of epilepsy awareness.

April celebratory days

 

April is a big month for our community partner Autism Speaks as Autism Awareness Month and World Autism Awareness Day are celebrated.

 

  • Autism Awareness Month - Autism is a lifelong neurological condition that can affect individuals from every race, background and across the socio-economic spectrum. Raising awareness around this disability and supporting both those who have been diagnosed with autism and their families is the goal of this global event.
  • Limb Loss Awareness Month is celebrated annually in April with the purpose to educate and drive awareness to individuals living with limb difference and/or limb loss.
  • World Autism Awareness Day is celebrated internationally every year on April 2nd. To show your support, #LightItUpBlue in your office, communities and dress in blue to recognize individuals living with autism.
  • Parkinson's International Awareness Day is on April 11th every year with the aim to understand Parkinson’s disease and how this condition can impact individuals.

May celebratory days

 

As warmer weather starts to come back to us here in Baltimore, Maryland, we are busy at Getting Hired celebrating almost 10 events during the month of May:

 

  • Mobility Awareness Month occurs each May where the community is encouraged to support and promote mobility solutions for the over 18 million people within the U.S. and Canada that are impacted by mobility impairments.
  • Mental Health Awareness Month is highlighted in May to support the one in five U.S. adults who currently live with a mental illness according to the National Institute of Mental Health.
  • ALS Awareness Month is in May where amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, is observed. Raising funding for finding a cure for this neurodegenerative disorder is the focus. Be sure to include #ALSAwareness in your promotions!
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month became recognized in 1992 where the history of Asian Americans in the United States is celebrated nationwide.
  • Stroke Awareness Month is important as strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and Stroke Awareness Month is celebrated to drive awareness to the statistics that up to 80% of strokes can be prevented. The National Stroke Association has pre-drafted social media if you’d like to spread the word!
  • Lupus Awareness Month brings education and awareness to this autoimmune disease. You can get involved with Lupus Foundation of America in May by starting a fundraiser or participating in a local walk to raise money for research.
  • Multiple Sclerosis Awareness Day casts a spotlight on the impact of multiple sclerosis (MS) on individuals around the world with the aim to bring together all those affected by this disability. Annually on May 30th, MS awareness day is focused on raising awareness of the impact of the disease, as well as raising funds to bolster research and enhance support for these individuals.

June celebratory days

 

As students and families prepare for summer break in the United States, learn more about the celebratory days you can support in June:

 

  • LGBTQ Pride Month recognizes the impact that individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer have contributed to society. Celebrations include parades, concerts, festivals and more. This month also provides platforms to raise awareness of discrimination and violence towards the LGBTQ community.
  • Autistic Pride Day is held annually on June 18th where communities celebrate the neurodiversity of individuals on the autism spectrum. The goal is to change the stigma of individuals with autism and highlight their differences positively.
  • PTSD Awareness Day - Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can manifest in many diverse ways, with traumatic events having a lasting effect on individuals who are diagnosed with the condition. As such, Congress took the decision in 2010 to make June 27th National PTSD Awareness Day, with the aim of increasing understanding around this potentially debilitating and life-changing disease.

July celebratory days

 

July celebrates the most important civil rights law that supports individuals with disabilities within society. Learn more about the two events you should consider supporting during July:

 

  • Disability Pride Month (NY) was started by Mike LeDonne whose daughter was born with a rare disease. Through raising his daughter, he learned the stigmas of individuals with disabilities and began planning events in New York, specifically a parade to drive inclusion and awareness to individuals like his daughter.
  • Disability Independence Day is a special day for the disability community. Annually on July 26th, commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. The law provides individuals with disabilities rights and basic needs including the right to discrimination-free employment.

August celebratory days

 

As the end of summer break is coming to an end soon in the U.S., there are a few celebration days organizations and individuals should be supporting in August:

 

  • Purple Heart Day is observed annually on August 7th as a time for society to remember and honor those who have been wounded or killed during service to their country.
  • Women's Equality Day is celebrated annually on August 26th as it commemorates the adoption of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution where female citizens gained the right to vote.

September celebratory days

 

With the change of season and kids back to school, don’t forget to support these celebratory days in September:

 

  • Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month is an important month for those impacted with spinal cord injuries as many don’t understand the severity of these injuries and the need for funding and research to find a cure. Spread awareness by wearing lime green and taking a team picture for social media!
  • Deaf Awareness Month is celebrated to increase support and awareness of the challenges individuals who are deaf face within the community and workplace.
  • Muscular Dystrophy Awareness Month celebrates many neuromuscular diseases that impact individuals nationwide. Follow the Muscular Dystrophy Association to learn more about how you can get involved with supporting these individuals.
  • Sickle Cell Awareness Month is celebrated throughout September with the goal to find a cure for sickle cell disease. In 2018, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute launched the cure sickle cell initiative to help the more than 20 million people worldwide who are impacted by sickle cell disease.
  • International Day of Sign Languages takes place annually on September 23rd with the goal to ensure individuals who are deaf are being advocated for within the community. Follow the World Federation of the Deaf to learn more about their 2019 campaign and use the hashtag #SignLanguagesDay within your social media posts.

October celebratory days

 

October is arguably one of the busiest months at Getting Hired because there are so many great events happening! Our inclusive employers support National Disability Employment Awareness Month every year and we can’t wait for another celebration in 2019.

 

  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) – If you only choose one celebratory day for individuals with disabilities, NDEAM arguably is the most important as it celebrates all individuals and veterans with disabilities within the workplace.
  • Down syndrome Awareness Month is where individuals, businesses and advocacy groups promote inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome within the workplace and society. Learn about businesses created an inspired by individuals with Down syndrome in our recent blog.
  • LGBTQ History Month takes place in throughout the month of October. This recognition month was founded in 1994 observing the history of the gay and civil rights movements.
  • Learning Disabilities Awareness Month offers the chance for organizations to focus specifically on disabilities that affect children and adults in their ability to take in and retain information. Conditions including dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADD, ADHD and auditory processing disorder.
  • Mental Health Awareness Week will take place from October 6th – 12th in 2019. Getting Hired will be sharing articles throughout the week and promoting our mental health community partners including National Alliance on Mental Illness. Be sure to include the hashtags #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and #CureStigma within your social media promotions.
  • World Mental Health Day is on October 10, 2019 where organizations and communities can help promote awareness about how to support individuals with mental health issues in the workplace. Don’t forget to use #WorldMentalHealthDay and #WMHD2019 within your social media promotions.
  • National Coming Out Day – on October 11th, celebrate the annual LGBTQ awareness day that places an emphasis on one of the most basic forms of activism, highlighting the act of 'coming out' to friends, family and colleagues, and living life as an openly gay individual.
  • World Thrombosis Day takes place annually in October and in 2019, it will be the sixth year it’s celebrated globally. You can learn more about how to build a campaign to promote awareness about Thrombosis (blood clots) here!

November celebratory days

 

November officially kicks off the holiday season with the theme of being thankful in preparation for Thanksgiving and giving back to your local communities and non-profits on Giving Tuesday:

 

  • Epilepsy Awareness Month occurs every November for the community to learn more about the spectrum of 3.4 million people living with epilepsy nationwide. Our community partner, the Epilepsy Foundation shares resources on how to support.
  • National Family Caregivers Month is an important awareness day for organizations to support as there are 6 in 10 caregivers within the U.S. workforce. The Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is a great organization to follow to learn the 2019 theme and how you can show your support on social media.
  • Veterans Day is an annual national celebration on November 11th for all those who have served, as well as those who continue to do so, in the American armed forces. It is a chance to recognize and support the individuals who protect our freedoms, both at home and overseas.
  • World Diabetes Day is the world's largest diabetes awareness campaign as it brings together inclusive organizations, advocacy groups, media outlets and individuals globally to improve the understanding of diabetes and help improve the lives of those living with it.

December celebratory days

 

As organizations and communities begin to prepare for the New Year, don’t forget to add a few extra social media campaigns to show support for these two celebratory days:

 

  • World AIDS Day takes place annually on December 1st and aims to bring the focus to the significant research that continues to take place in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, as well as tackling the ongoing stigma that surrounds the disease.
  • International Day of People with Disabilities is an annual event that takes place on December 3rd to celebrate the value that people with disabilities bring to the workplace and society. The goal is to help raise awareness globally of the challenges they may face daily.

Getting involved with the wide array of campaigns and events that take place throughout the year is a great way for businesses to improve their level of engagement with individuals with disabilities. 

You can follow us on social media and read our regular blog updates to keep up to date with all the latest trending topics in the disabilities space.

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