October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Learn how an inclusive environment benefits everyone, and how you can help expand opportunities for people with disabilities.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Inclusion Equals Success

People with disabilities bring many valuable skills to the workplace and have an overall higher retention rate. Yet, only 17.9 percent of individuals in this community are employed. This National Disability Employment Awareness Month, see what you can do to expand opportunities within the disabled community, who make up a fifth of the U.S. population.

Inclusive organizations, on average, have 28% higher revenue, and 87% of Americans say that they prefer to patronize businesses that hire people with disabilities. At The Chicago Lighthouse, we see first hand how inclusion leads to innovation, whether it’s a teacher in our school with a disability who finds unique ways for students to relate to their environment, or technology experts who are blind and bring fresh insight and knowledge to digital platforms.



UI Health Call Center Rep

Greater Accessibility Creates Greater Opportunity
Thanks to a partnership between The Chicago Lighthouse, UI Health and Epic, people who are blind throughout the world will have access to career advancement opportunities within the healthcare field. Watch the Video



What is the current state of employment amid the pandemic and labor shortage?
The Chicago Lighthouse’s Senior Vice President of Employment and Rehabilitation Services shares how the pandemic has presented both challenges and opportunities for people with disabilities. Read More


Hear what our employment partners have to say on how an inclusive workplace benefits their organizations.

BlueCross BlueShield of Illinois Logo

“Consistent with our focus on diversity, equity, and inclusion, BCBSIL continues to improve our talent pipeline of people with disabilities to optimize talent, increase our effectiveness, and reflect the rich diversity of our customers.  We’re proud of our community partnership with The Chicago Lighthouse, which provides programs for people with disabilities to achieve meaningful and lasting employment. In fact, our work with Autism2Work has already led to our successful hiring of four people from their program with plans for more!”

– Steve Hamman
BCBSIL President



Northwestern Medicine logo


“Hiring employees with disabilities allows us to fulfill on our mission to serve a broad community and ensure equity in healthcare. We value putting our patients first in all we do, and our experience is that physicians and employees with disabilities bring a unique set of competencies in being compassionate, collaborative, innovative and continually learning beyond their technical expertise and professional training.  No matter where in the healthcare system we work, caring for patients and their families is at the heart of our mission and our philosophy, and hiring employees with disabilities makes us better at achieving the highest levels of care.”

– Dawn M Rose JD, CHHR
Director of Planning & Human Capital, Department of Neurological Surgery, Workforce Development Lead, NM Champions Network – Disabilities


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