VALLEY FORGE, PA (ABNS 10/8/14)—American Baptist Home Mission Societies (ABHMS) encourages congregations to observe October as “National Disability Employment Awareness Month” with new worship and advocacy resources.
Two-thirds of Americans with disabilities are unemployed or underemployed—a number that has not changed since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed by President George H.W. Bush in 1990.
“The ADA mandates equal access to employment for people with disabilities,” notes Curtis Ramsey-Lucas, ABHMS managing director, resource development. “While our society is more open and accessible for people with disabilities than it was a generation ago, the doors to economic opportunity remain closed for too many. Employment remains the unfulfilled promise of the ADA.”
ABHMS and other members of the Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition (IDAC) are encouraging congregations to observe October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month with two new resources: a bulletin insert to raise awareness in congregations, and suggested next steps for congregations that want to encourage expanded employment opportunities in their communities.
Resources are available to download from the ABHMS website at http://www.abhms.org/ > Ministries & Programs > Justice Ministries > Disabilities Ministries, as well as from the Interfaith page of the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) website.
“Congregations are uniquely situated in their communities to engage in this important work, including encouraging employers in their pews to hire qualified people with disabilities,” says Ramsey-Lucas.
IDAC will continue its emphasis on employment throughout 2015—the 20th anniversary year of the ADA.
IDAC is a program of the American Association of People with Disabilities. IDAC’s mission is to mobilize the religious community to speak out and take action on disability policy issues with Congress, the president and administration, and society-at-large.
American Baptist Home Mission Societies—the domestic mission arm of American Baptist Churches USA—ministers as the caring heart and serving hands of Jesus Christ across the United States and Puerto Rico through a multitude of initiatives that focus on discipleship, community and justice.
American Baptist Churches is one of the most diverse Christian denominations today, with over 5,200 local congregations comprised of 1.3 million members, across the United States and Puerto Rico, all engaged in God’s mission around the world.