News & Events
Every day, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) works toward achieving its mission to expand the participation and contribution of America’s 56 million men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life. Learn more about our recent progress toward this goal.
The United Nations estimates that more than 1 billion people live with disabilities worldwide. In many places, they face discrimination, lack of accommodation and even a disregard for their right to exist.
The United Nations General Assembly in 2006 adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Its goal is to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.”
Curb cuts. Braille in elevators. Closed captioning. Signers in public meetings. They did not exist when the Americans with Disabilities Act was passed in 1990. A reflection on the 25th anniversary of the ADA, which makes a crucial difference for over 50 million Americans with disabilities – and their families.
Kenneth Roman, longtime member of NOD’s Board of Directors and Dartmouth classmate of Alan Reich, founder of NOD, reflects on Reich’s personal experience of disability – and the journey it led him on: from the State Department to the United Nations, and ultimately to the founding of the National Organization on Disability.
“When I was in school, I had never seen anyone in a wheelchair. There have been great, positive changes in attitudes toward participation by the disabled. I consider myself fortunate to be able to do the work that I do.” - Alan Reich
Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability, a non-profit dedicated to the disabled community in the U.S., told USA TODAY the findings should be viewed to see how disability affects income and unemployment levels.
The non-profit’s research has found that 20% of people with disabilities have a job, while 69% of people without disabilities are employed. However, younger Americans with disabilities have nearly the same access to education as children without disabilities, Glazer said. Glazer is optimistic that more educated and disabled individuals will lead to more employment among the disabled community.
When it comes to talking about disability, we don’t.
Nearly one in five Americans reports living with a disability, yet our silence prevents us from aiding in destigmatization, fair access and equal opportunity.
Along with major forms of social discrimination, such as denying employment to people with disabilities or using the R-word, there are seemingly little things able-bodied people do every day that aren’t so inclusive. And those little things need to change.
Here are six things you should think about in order to be a stronger ally to disability communities.
On July 26, 1990, when former President George H.W. Bush signed the Americans With Disabilities Act into law, it was heralded as the beginning of a new era of improved access and employment for people with disabilities.
As the nation celebrates this landmark civil-rights legislation impacting an estimated 56 million Americans, or 19 percent of the U.S. population, the progress of people with disabilities in the workplace remains a challenge. With new laws impacting employers and a growing realization in corporate America of the need to hire more skilled workers, disability advocates are cautiously optimistic.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. and NOD’s Chairman Tom Ridge and CNN’s Michael Smerconish discuss President George H.W. Bush and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which celebrates its 25th Anniversary this week.
HUFFINGTON POST BLOG By CAROL GLAZER, President, National Organization on Disability
This week many are celebrating the unprecedented improvements that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has brought to the quality of life for millions of people with disabilities in the 25 years since it was signed into law on July 26, 1990. But the work of guaranteeing access to the American dream is far from over.
When it was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush amid an overwhelming show of bipartisan support, the ADA promised to enable people with disabilities access to go to school, to church, to the theater and to work. Like the Civil Rights Act on which it was modeled, the ADA viewed the exclusion of people with disabilities from civic life and the workforce as discrimination. Keeping people with disabilities from the mainstream was no longer justifiable. When President Bush signed the ADA, he noted its significance as a civil rights act, meant to “ensure that all should have the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream.” (Click here to watch how President Bush feels about his legacy, 25 years later.)
The labor-force participation rate in the United States is at its lowest point in almost 30 years (62.9%) and a global shortage of 95 million workers within the next five years is predicted.
Yet a huge segment of the population is dramatically underemployed – people with disabilities…. Why, when there is such a growing need for workers, is this population so underutilized?
WEBINAR: Using the Disability Employment Tracker to Drive Successful Hiring & Inclusion Results
Friday, September 11, 2015 12:00pm EDT
WEBINAR: New Data on the Job Search Experience of Candidates with Disabilities
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 1:00pm EDT
DIVERSITYINC EVENT: Best Practices on Diversity Recruitment
Thursday, October 1, 2015
DIVERSITYINC WEBINAR: Cultural Competence for National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 2:00pm EDT
July 20, 2015, New York, NY – In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) is releasing a new video featuring a rare and recent interview with President George H.W. Bush, who signed the ADA into law in July 1990. For 25 years, the ADA has removed barriers and empowered people, promoting equality for Americans with disabilities. In the video, hosted by NOD Chairman Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, President Bush, NOD’s Honorary Chairman, calls the ADA among his ‘proudest achievements’ as President of the United States.
$1 Million Lead Corporate Grant from Prudential Foundation Kick-Starts New Enterprise Designed to Put More Americans with Disabilities to Work
April 24, 2015, New York, NY – National Organization on Disability (NOD) President Carol Glazer announced an exciting new direction for a non-profit that has for more than 30 years been a leader in advancing opportunities for Americans with all kinds of disabilities. During last night’s DiversityInc awards ceremony in downtown Manhattan, honoring the Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities, Glazer unveiled NOD’s expanded Corporate Services – a best-in-class suite of advisory services now available to companies across the country who recognize that hiring people with disabilities is good business.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. Executive Joins Distinguished Board
February 26, 2015, New York, NY – The National Organization on Disability today announced that Jeff Kellan, VP, Supply Chain Operations, Toys“R”Us, Inc. has been elected to its Board of Directors. The unanimous vote came at NOD’s Board of Directors meeting yesterday afternoon.
“We are pleased to welcome Jeff, a distinguished and accomplished professional, to NOD’s board,” said Gov. Tom Ridge, Chairman of NOD. “Jeff offers unique and personal experiences in disability employment. We are delighted to bring his expertise and perspective to the board, and we thank him for his commitment and continued service to the disability community.”
At Toys“R”Us, Inc., Kellan is responsible for managing global transportation, retail and e-commerce distribution, and oversees how the company’s merchandise is acquired, transported and stored across the supply chain. He also oversees U.S. distribution and fulfillment.
CEO Council – Employers of Choice for People with Disabilities – Set for Further Growth in 2015
February 11, 2015, New York, NY – The National Organization on Disability has formally announced the companies who joined its CEO Council over the past year. The NOD CEO Council is a body of employers who have distinguished themselves as leaders in diversity and employers of choice for people with disabilities.
Employers that joined NOD’s CEO Council over the past year included Colgate-Palmolive and Northrop Grumman Corporation as President’s Circle members and Cigna, General Motors Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, NiSource and PJM at the Corporate Circle level. These companies joined a group of distinguished corporate leaders that includes The Hershey Company, PNC Financial Services Group and Wal-Mart Stores, among others.
“NOD prides itself as being a non-profit that understands and values the contributions of corporate America,” said Gov. Tom Ridge, Chairman of NOD. “By their generosity, ongoing support and insights, our CEO Council members play a critical role in our ability to help connect people with disabilities with meaningful job opportunities. We are very much looking forward to working with these companies in 2015 and beyond to bring recognition to their efforts to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce that includes people with disabilities.”