National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is held each October to commemorate the invaluable contributions of people with disabilities to our country’s workplaces and economy. The theme of NDEAM 2023 is “Advancing Access and Equity” and reflects the importance of ensuring people with disabilities have equal opportunity to prepare for and succeed in employment.

Let us celebrate the many accomplishments of people with disabilities in our communities and collectively nurture a culture that is equitable, inclusive, and accessible for all people.

Employees are encouraged to increase their cultural awareness by learning more about National Disability Employment Awareness Month:

In addition to the above, I would like to highlight a few initiatives happening throughout October and encourage you to get involved:

  • Enjoy Mindfulness Mondays, a new weekly mental health initiative being launched by our Dallas Symphony Ability Community.
  • Don’t miss the next edition of the DSO鈥檚 Fermata Speaker Series in Horchow on October 6, 5:30 PM to 6:30 PM, featuring violinist, educator, and disability advocate Adrian Anantawan, dubbed by CNN as the “One-handed violinist.” Come and experience his incredible disability story and his performance. Amy Bishop, midday host for WRR Classical 101.1 FM, will moderate. Please RSVP now at
  • Attend the Feel Good Dallas Wellness Fest, a collaboration between DSO and Sanctum Wellness, founded by DSO board member Dr. Jessica Shepherd. This event occurs on Saturday, October 21, 9:00 AM to 2:00 PM. Click the link for more information and secure your tickets now for this amazing event at Feel Good Dallas (

DSO National Disability Employment Awareness Month Reflections

Melanie Gilmore

Choral Librarian,
La Orquesta Sinf贸nica de Dallas

Why is National Disability Employment Awareness Month important?

Some research estimates that over 25% of Americans have some form of disability. Disabilities are wide-ranging and can affect anyone at any time in their life. The exact disability may never be evident to others, or it may carry a stigma. It鈥檚 important to create awareness and acceptance of those with physical and mental disabilities and seek ways to meet the needs of their challenges.

Sabrina Siggers

Group Sales Representative, Dallas Symphony Orchestra
Co-Chair, Dallas Symphony Ability Community

Why are you passionate about supporting the disability community?

I’m passionate about supporting the disability community because I believe in equality and inclusivity for all, and I want to contribute to creating a world where everyone, regardless of their abilities, has the opportunity to thrive and be valued for their unique contributions.

Quin Phillips

Executive Assistant to the President & CEO,
La Orquesta Sinf贸nica de Dallas

Who is a notable disability advocate or figure, past or present, that inspires you, and why?

I鈥檓 inspired by Haben Girma because she didn鈥檛 allow her 鈥渄isability鈥 to hinder her incredible accomplishments. She allowed her brilliance to shine through her 鈥渁bilities.鈥

The first Deafblind person to graduate from Harvard Law School, Haben Girma is a human rights lawyer advancing disability justice. Haben believes disability is an opportunity for innovation, and she teaches organizations the importance of choosing inclusion.

President Obama named her a White House Champion of Change. She received the Helen Keller Achievement Award, a spot on the Forbes 30 Under 30 list, and TIME100 Talks. President Bill Clinton, Prime Minister Justin Trudeau, and Chancellor Angela Merkel have all honored Haben.

The New York Times, Oprah Magazine, and TODAY Show featured her memoir, Haben: The Deafblind Woman Who Conquered Harvard Law.

Liz Akop

Group Sales Representative, Dalla Symphony Orchestra
Co-Chair, Dallas Symphony Ability Community

Why are you passionate about supporting the disability community?

I want people with disabilities to feel valued, heard, and supported. People with disabilities make up a significant portion of our global population. We must raise awareness of issues related to disability inclusion. Without support, this group becomes even more marginalized and excluded from society. By including our disability community, we can break down the barriers that prevent people from reaching their full potential.