National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which ended on Monday, Oct. 31, has been observed every October since 1988. For me, as an alum with hidden disabilities (specifically, autism spectrum disorder and ADHD), this raises the question: In all the five-plus years that I have been reading PAW, why have I never seen any reporting related to NDEAM? In fact, why have I not seen any stories on disability save this year’s profile on Naomi Hess?
Adults with disabilities constitute 20 percent of the United States population. This includes Princeton alumni, many of whom have gone on to be successful as artists, entrepreneurs, engineers, academics, and public servants. Several alumni are parents to adult children with disabilities, and they have had to watch their children navigate the job market and all the obstacles (and, yes, triumphs) that come with this.
Disability employment is a relevant issue in the Princeton community. Your feature on Naomi Hess was inspiring, but what is the follow-up? Do you plan on profiling any other leaders in Princeton’s disability community on campus? And what is your plan when it comes to addressing alumni with disabilities and/or alumni who work with this population? Where are the podcast episodes or the Reunions panel discussions?
Reach out to us alumni and find out who we are and what disability issues we face in our lives. I am confident you will get an overwhelming response.