New York State Department of Health Recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Department Affirms Its Dedication To Increasing Disability Awareness and Inclusion

Department Launches New "Disability Etiquette" Training Module

Albany, N.Y. (October 24, 2023) - The New York State Department of Health recognizes National Disability Employment Awareness Month to celebrate the many contributions of people with disabilities to the workforce. This year's theme is "Advancing Access and Equity."

In honor of the month, the Department launched a new training module, "Disability Etiquette," which educates New Yorkers on how to increase disability awareness, accessibility, and inclusion in public health programming. The comprehensive training provides information, tools, and strategies that can be used by anyone to ensure that facilities, programs, environments, policies, and procedures are accessible and inclusive for everyone.

"Disability Employment Awareness Month is a time to recognize the many contributions that people with disabilities have made to the workforce and to strengthen policies, programs, and environments to improve diversity, equity, and accessibility across New York," State Health Commissioner Dr. James McDonald said. "The first step to increase accessibility and inclusion in public health programming is to learn how to make systems available to and usable by everyone. The 'Disability Etiquette' training is a great tool to improve statewide accessibility for all."

To educate the public about issues related to disability and employment, Congress enacted Public Law 176 in 1945, declaring the first week of October each year as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities.

Twenty-five years later, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

More than 1 in 4 or 27 percent of New York State adults have one or more disabilities.

The Department remains committed to promoting accessibility and inclusion in public health programs among people with disabilities, as well as focusing on increasing access to accessible and inclusive health care.

The Disability Etiquette Training can be found here. Select the course by searching for the Keyword "DHP-103."

For more information about disability, and promoting health and wellness among people with disabilities, contact the New York State Department of Health, Disability and Health Program at (518) 408-5142, or send an email to, or visit: