October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). NDEAM commemorates the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. The theme for NDEAM 2021, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
In recognition of NDEAM, Chuck Kinney, friend of Independence Now and Disability Advocate at The Freedom Center, shared his story with us!
For over a year prior to starting my new job, I had been struggling on my own to obtain a HUD Mainstream Housing Voucher. I finally obtained a housing voucher and was able to live on my own at age 41. I got a paying job after almost 20 years and am paying back into the system that has helped support me. As a job and reward, I am helping other disabled individuals like myself potentially do the same for themselves as Shannon does. Dominoes! Living with a disability may, unfortunately, encourage one to become self-absorbed and as a result, can also become a limiting barrier to seek and find growth and progress through life’s circumstances. Working again after the result of acquiring permanent disabilities allows me to commit to a purpose that involves me but is not about me. I thank God.