BUCKLEY AIR FORCE BASE, Colo. --
In recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Team Buckley has provided facts about the history of disability employment from the Defense Equal Opportunity Management Institute.
- In 1935, Congress passed and President Roosevelt signed the Social Security Act, establishing federal old-age benefits and grants to the states for assistance to blind individuals and children with disabilities. The act also extends the already existing vocational rehabilitation programs established by earlier legislation.
- The Disabled American Veterans Association was founded in 1920 by disabled veterans from World War I to represent their special interest. In 1932, the DAV was congressionally chartered as the official voice of the nation’s wartime disabled veterans.
- In 1938, the Wagner-O'Day Act was passed under President Franklin D. Roosevelt in order to provide employment opportunities for people who are blind by authorizing them to manufacture mops and brooms to sell to the Federal Government.
- Over the past 25 years Boy Scouts Troop 409, whose members have various physical and mental disabilities, have earned 1,000 merit badges and produced eight Eagle Scouts. Scoutmaster Richard Coleman, a former Air Force sergeant said, "To me they aren't disabled, they're scouts, and that's how I treat them." The troop has 22 members—including seven of its ten charter members who are still involved because age limits don’t apply to Scouts with permanent disabilities.
Robert Weinberg, a legally blind employee at Envision Express on Buckley Air Force Base, has personally benefitted from the 1939 Wagner-O’Day Act.
“It gives me something to do,” said Weinberg. “It has helped me financially, has great benefits and I enjoy being on the base with all the different people.”