This month we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). There are many events taking place on each CUNY Campus to bring awareness to disability diversity, employment, accessibility and inclusion. We are proud to say that Queens College is one of the most diverse CUNY Schools and has among the highest numbers of students enrolled who identified themselves having one or more disabilities; including learning, physical, mental, and neurodiverse disabilities. With that in mind, our student and academic affairs departments have been continuously improving and evolving to meet the needs of the diverse students’ population on campus. One of the programs to highlight is the CUNY LEADS (Linking Employment, Academics, and Disabilities) Program, housed in the Center for Career Engagement and Internships. This program was established to facilitate the successful academic and career outcomes for students with disabilities who are enrolled in CUNY programs. It is important to point out that awareness, etiquette, and empathy play a huge part when interacting with someone who has a disability. To learn more about disability etiquette, please visit https://disabilityin.org/resource/disability-etiquette/
Diversity should be celebrated every day and everywhere. It is an essential piece of the puzzle that allows every individual to flourish personally and professionally in any environment. Often, diversity is defined solely based on a person’s race or culture, but this term is so much more than that. We are happy that more and more employers implement diversity, equity and inclusion initiatives as paramount aspects of their culture and recruitment tactics. Looking into the future of work, we have to continue working towards creating an inclusive environment, welcoming diversity and offering fair and equal access and treatment for all. That is the only way to achieve collective positive changes and foster an inclusive global economy, where people from all walks of life participate fully and meaningfully.