Planning ahead for 2020: National Events to Support Diversity and Disability Inclusion

Each year there are national and international events that enable us to recognize individuals with disabilities and the importance of diversity within the workplace and our communities. To help you plan for these celebratory campaigns, we've compiled a list of some of the top awareness campaigns for 2020!

January

At Getting Hired, we promote and celebrate the New Year by driving awareness to the celebration of:

  • Glaucoma Awareness Month – According to the Glaucoma Research Foundation, more than 3 million people in the United States have glaucoma. The National Eye Institute projects this number will reach 4.2 million by 2030, a 58 percent increase.
  • World Braille Day January 4, 2020 – World Braille Day marks the birthday of Louis Braille Day, the French inventor of the reading and writing code for people who are blind. The day is observed to raise awareness of the importance of accessibility and independence for people who are blind or visually impaired.
  • Martin Luther King Day (MLK Day) January 20, 2020 – MLK Day is an annual holiday observed on the third Monday of January each year, which is around Martin Luther King Jr.’s birthday, January 15th. Dr. King is most known for his activism leading the civil rights movement in the 1950’s and 60’s.
  • World Leprosy Day January 26, 2020 – Takes place annually on the last Sunday in January, with the goal of increasing awareness and support for Leprosy research. Show your support by sharing social posts with the hashtags #BeatLeprosy and #WorldLeprosyDay2020. Learn the facts from the CDC

February celebratory days

February is the shortest month of the year but has plenty of celebratory days for individuals and employers to recognize:

  • Black History Month – An annual celebration of achievements by African Americans and a time to recognize the central role of African Americans in U.S. History. The 2020 theme for Black History month is “African Americans and the Vote,” which focuses on recognizing the struggle for voting rights among African American men and women throughout history.
  • Low Vision Awareness Month – Celebrated to raise awareness about vision rehabilitation as the number of Americans with visual impairments is projected to reach 5 million individuals with low vision by 2030.
  • American Heart Month – Celebrated throughout February to spread awareness to heart disease risks. You can learn more about those at risk and how you can take control of your heart health from the CDC here.
  • Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness February 2, 2020 – With an estimated 1.5 million Americans who have rheumatoid arthritis, Rheumatoid Arthritis Awareness Day raises awareness for those affected by this diagnosis. Use hashtag #Rheum and #CureArthritis to join the conversation and check out curearthritis.org. 
  • World Cancer Day – February 4, 2020 – Aims to raise awareness of cancer and encourage its prevention, detection, and treatment. Cancer is the second leading cause of death globally, and nearly 1 in 6 deaths globally are due to cancer.
  • National Wear Red Day February 7, 2020 ­- Celebrated each year on the first Friday in February, National Wear Red Day focuses on bringing greater attention to heart disease awareness as the leading cause of death for Americans. Spread the word on social media to encourage others to #WearRedandGive and get more resources here.
  • International Epilepsy Day – February 10, 2020 – Recognized on the second Monday in February, International Epilepsy Day serves to bring awareness to and spread the word about epilepsy across the world. There are a variety of ways to join this global effort, including sharing photos with this International Epilepsy Day sign on social media using the hashtag #EpilepsyDay.

March celebratory days

March brings several awareness days for individuals to celebrate, including International Women’s Day, which is one diversity holiday employers should aim to support:

  • Cerebral Palsy Awareness Month – Cerebral palsy is a neurological disability that can affect movement and posture, and is the most common physical and motor disability in childhood. The celebratory color for cerebral palsy is green; celebrate with a team picture where everyone wears green!
  • Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month – Introduced in 1987 by President Ronald Reagan, Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month focuses on celebrating and expanding conversations to improving the lives of individuals with developmental disabilities. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), developmental disabilities are defined as impairments in physical, learning, language or behavior areas. Share stories, photos, videos and resources using the hashtag #DDAwareness20.
  • Deaf History Month – Takes place annually from March 13th to April 15th. Deaf History Month is a chance for communities and employers to come together to improve their understanding and support of the deaf community.
  • Brain Injury Awareness Month – Led by the Brain Injury Association of America (BIAA), Brain Injury Awareness Month was established over 30 years ago to educate the public about brain injuries. The theme for the 2018 to 2020 campaign is “Change Your Mind.” The #ChangeYourMind public awareness campaign provides a platform for educating the public about the incidence of brain injury and the needs of people with brain injuries and their families.
  • International Wheelchair Day (IWD)March 1, 2020 – This celebratory day launched in 2008 for individuals to share the positive impact a wheelchair has on their lives.
  • International Women's DayMarch 8, 2020 - This year’s theme IWD theme is #EachforEqual so be sure to include this hashtag in your social posts!
  • World Down Syndrome Day (WDSD) March 21, 2020 – WDSD is a global awareness day which has been officially observed the United Nations since 2010. Celebrate by sharing the 2020 campaign to encourage people with Down Syndrome to tell the world “We Decide” and share your bright socks on social with the hashtag #LotsofSocks. Ensure all your social media campaigns include the hashtag #WDSD20.
  • Purple Day for EpilepsyMarch 26, 2020 – Celebrated annually, show your support by wearing purple and hosting events in support of epilepsy awareness.

April celebratory days

April is a significant month for many of our community partners, as Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month and World Autism Awareness Day are celebrated.

  • Autism Awareness/Acceptance Month – Autism is a lifelong neurological condition that can affect individuals from every race, background and across the socio-economic spectrum. It is important to note that there are two schools of thought and not everyone agrees on the topic - Autism Awareness Month and Autism Acceptance Month - encouraging celebration of Autism Awareness Month through awareness, acceptance, and curiosity about neurodiversity. Use these hashtags in social posts! #AutismAcceptanceMonth #AutismAcceptance #AutismAwarenessMonth #AutismAwareness 
  • Limb Loss Awareness Month (LLAM) - Celebrated annually in April, LLAM is dedicated to educating and driving awareness to individuals living with limb difference and/or limb loss. Learn more here.
  • Stress Awareness Month
  • World Autism Awareness Day – April 2, 2020 – Celebrated internationally each year, employers can show support by using hashtag #LightItUpBlue and dressing in blue to recognize individuals living with autism.
  • World Health Day April 7, 2020 – First celebrated in 1948, World Health Day aims to create awareness around important health issues such as mental health, maternal and child care, and climate change.
  • World Parkinson’s Day – April 11, 2020 – The aim of World Parkinson’s Day is to understand Parkinson’s disease and how it can impact individuals.

May celebratory days

May brings with it a host of events to commemorate:

  • National Mobility Awareness Month – Occurs each May and encourages communities to support and promote mobility solutions for the over 18 million people within the U.S. and Canada that are impacted by mobility impairments.
  • Mental Health Awareness Month – Supports the one in five U.S. adults who currently live with a mental illness and encourages others to #breakthestigma associated with mental health needs.
  • ALS Awareness Month – Observes amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease. The focus of ALS Awareness Month is to help bring awareness and understanding to this neurodegenerative disorder. Be sure to include #ALSAwareness in your promotions!
  • Asian American and Pacific Islander Heritage Month – Began in 1992 to celebrate the history and contributions of Asian Americans in the United States.
  • Stroke Awareness Month – Strokes are the fifth leading cause of death in the United States and Stroke Awareness Month is celebrated to drive awareness to research that proves up to 80% of strokes can be prevented. The National Stroke Association has pre-drafted social media to help you spread the word!
  • Lupus Awareness Month – Brings education and awareness to this lupus, an autoimmune disease. Get involved with Lupus Foundation of America in May by starting a fundraiser or participating in a local walk to raise money for research.
  • National Military Appreciation Month (NNAM) – Celebrated annually in May to honor current and former members of the United States Armed Forces. Don’t forget to include the hashtags #NMAM20 and #NationalMilitaryAppreciationMonth in your social posts.
  • Lyme Disease Awareness Month – Recognized in May, Lyme Disease Awareness Month focuses on bringing awareness to the individuals who have Lyme disease around the world. The CDC estimates 300,000 people are diagnosed with Lyme disease in the U.S. each year and it impacts people in over 60 countries.
  • Cystic Fibrosis Awareness Month – Supports the 30,000+ people in the United States, and 70,000 worldwide who currently have this life-threatening, genetic disease. Learn more from the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation here.
  • Military Spouse Appreciation DayMay 8, 2020 – A day to recognize and show your appreciation for military spouses and the important role they play in keeping our country safe.
  • World Lupus DayMay 10, 2020 – Serves to bring together lupus organizations and people affected by the disease to help spread awareness and educate the public about the impact of lupus around the world.
  • International Awareness Day for Chronic Immunological and Neurological Diseases (CIND) – May 12, 2020 – Since 1992, events have been held to bring awareness to the needs of those with Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), Fibromyalgia (FM), Gulf War Syndrome (GWS) and Multiple Chemical Sensitivity (MCS).
  • Global Accessibility Awareness Day (GAAD) – May 16, 2020 – Celebrated annually on the third Thursday, GAAD promotes digital accessibility and inclusion for people with disabilities. Here are some ideas to help your organization plan for GAAD.
  • World Multiple Sclerosis (MS) Awareness Day – May 30, 2020 – Casts a spotlight on the impact of multiple sclerosis (MS) on individuals around the world with the aim to bring together all those affected by this disability and to raise funds to bolster research and enhance support for these individuals.

June celebratory days

As students and families prepare for summer break in the United States, learn more about the celebratory days you can support in June:

  • LGBTQ Pride Month – Recognizes the impact that individuals who are lesbian, gay, bisexual, transgender and queer have contributed to society. Celebrations include parades, concerts, festivals and more. This month also provides platforms to raise awareness of discrimination and violence towards the LGBTQ community.
  • National Cancer Survivor’s Day June 7, 2020 – This annual day, hosted on the first Sunday in June, honors cancer survivors and connects people living with a history of cancer (including family and friends). It’s also a day to draw attention to the challenges of cancer survivorship to promote more resources, research, and survivor-friendly legislation improve cancer survivors’ quality of life.
  • Autistic Pride DayJune 18, 2020 – Held annually on June 18th, communities come together to celebrate the neurodiversity of individuals with autism. The goal is to change the stigma of individuals with autism and highlight their differences positively.
  • National PTSD Awareness DayJune 27, 2020 – Post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) can manifest in many diverse ways, with traumatic events having a lasting effect on individuals who are diagnosed with the condition. As such, Congress took the decision in 2010 to make June 27th National PTSD Awareness Day, with the aim of increasing understanding around this potentially debilitating and life-changing disease.

July celebratory days

July celebrates the most important civil rights law that supports individuals with disabilities within society. Learn more about the two events you should consider supporting during July:

  • Disability Pride Month (NY) – Disability Pride Month was started by Mike LeDonne, whose daughter was born with a rare disease. Through raising his daughter, he learned the stigmas of individuals with disabilities and began planning events in New York, specifically a parade to drive inclusion and awareness to individuals like his daughter.
  • National Disability Independence Day – July 26, 2020 – July 26th commemorates the anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990. The law provides individuals with disabilities rights and basic needs including the right to discrimination-free employment. 2020 marks the 30th anniversary of the ADA and will mean a lot of celebration throughout the country as people celebrate this landmark legislation for people with disabilities.
  • World Hepatitis Day July 28, 2020 – Worldwide, 290 million people are unaware they are living with viral hepatitis. On World Hepatitis Day, people around the world are encouraged to take action and raise awareness to find the “missing millions.”

August celebratory days

As the end of summer break is comes to an end, there are a few celebration days organizations and individuals should be supporting in August:

  • Purple Heart DayAugust 7, 2020 – Observed annually, Purple Heart Day is a time for society to remember and honor those who have been wounded or killed during service to their country.
  • National Senior Citizens Day August 21, 2020 – Now in its 32nd year, National Senior Citizens Day celebrates those 65 and older. The day serves to show our appreciation for their dedication, accomplishments, and services they give throughout their lives.
  • Women's Equality DayAugust 26, 2020 - Celebrated annually on August 26th, Women’s Equality Day commemorates the adoption of the 19th Amendment of the U.S. Constitution where female citizens gained the right to vote.

September celebratory days

With the change of season and kids back to school, don’t forget to support these celebratory days in September:

  • Spinal Cord Injury Awareness Month – An important month for those with spinal cord injuries, as many don’t understand the impact of these injuries and the need for funding and research. Spread awareness by wearing lime green and taking a team picture for social media!
  • International Deaf Awareness Month – Celebrated to increase support and awareness of deaf issues, people and culture within the community and workplace.
  • National Sickle Cell Awareness Month – Celebrated throughout September with the goal of finding a cure for sickle cell disease. In 2018, the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute launched the cure sickle cell initiative to help the more than 20 million people worldwide who are impacted by sickle cell disease.
  • National Service Dog Month – Recognized annually in September, National Service Dog Month is a time dedicated to raising awareness and showing appreciation for the work service animals do every day for people in their care. Learn about the various types of services dogs from the Service Dog Registry.
  • World Alzheimer’s Month – This international campaign is hosted by Alzheimer’s Disease International to raise awareness and challenge the stigma that surrounds dementia. It includes World Alzheimer’s Day on September 21. Use hashtags #LetsTalkAboutDementia and #WorldAlzMonth to spread the word.
  • International Day of Sign LanguagesSeptember 23, 2020 – Takes place annually with the goal to ensure individuals who are deaf are being advocated for within the community. Follow the World Federation of the Deaf to learn more about their 2020 campaign and use the hashtag #SignLanguagesDay within your social media posts.
  • World Heart Day September 29, 2020 – Created by the World Heart Federation, World Heart Day informs people around the globe that cardiovascular disease (CVD), including hear disease and stroke, is the world’s leading cause of death. It also highlights the actions individuals can take to prevent and control CVD.

October celebratory days

October is arguably one of the busiest months at Getting Hired because there are so many great events happening! Our inclusive employers support National Disability Employment Awareness Month every year and we can’t wait for another celebration in 2020.

  • National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) – If you only choose one celebratory month to focus on individuals with disabilities, NDEAM should be that month, as it celebrates all individuals and veterans with disabilities within the workplace.
  • Down Syndrome Awareness Month – A time for individuals, businesses and advocacy groups to promote inclusion of individuals with Down syndrome within the workplace and society. Learn more from the National Association for Down Syndrome.
  • LGBT History Month – This commemorative began in 1994 to celebrate the achievements of lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender history and the history of the gay rights and related civil rights movements. It is celebrated in October to coincide with National Coming Out Day on October 11th.
  • Learning Disabilities Awareness Month – Offers the chance for organizations to focus specifically on disabilities that affect children and adults in their ability to take in and retain information. Conditions including dyslexia, dysgraphia, dyscalculia, ADD, ADHD and auditory processing disorder.
  • National Dwarfism Awareness Month (NDAM) – Recognized every October, NDAM’s goal is to promote and share positive stories in the dwarfism community. Learn more about how you can get involved from Little People of America.
  • Mental Health Awareness WeekOctober 4 – 10, 2020 – Getting Hired will be sharing articles throughout this week and promoting our mental health community partners including National Alliance on Mental Illness. Be sure to include the hashtags #MentalHealthAwarenessWeek and #CureStigma within your social media promotions.
  • World Mental Health DayOctober 10, 2020 – Hosted annually, on World Mental Health Day organizations and communities can help promote awareness about how to support individuals with mental health issues in the workplace. Don’t forget to use #WorldMentalHealthDay and #WMHD2019 within your social media promotions.
  • National Coming Out DayOctober 11, 2020 – Across the nation, people celebrate this annual LGBTQ awareness day to place an emphasis on one of the most basic forms of activism, highlighting the act of 'coming out' to friends, family and colleagues, and living life as an openly gay individual.
  • World Thrombosis DayOctober 13, 2020 – In its seventh year, the goal of WTD is to empower people around the world to recognize and help prevent life-threatening blood clots. You can learn more about how to build a campaign to promote awareness about Thrombosis (blood clots) here!

November celebratory days

November officially kicks off the holiday season with the theme of being thankful in preparation for Thanksgiving and giving back to your local communities and non-profits on Giving Tuesday:

  • Epilepsy Awareness Month – Occurs every November for the community to learn more about the spectrum of 3.4 million people living with epilepsy nationwide. Our community partner, the Epilepsy Foundation shares resources on how to support.
  • National Family Caregivers Month – An important awareness day for organizations to support, as there are 6 in 10 caregivers within the U.S. workforce. The Caregiver Action Network (CAN) is a great organization to follow to learn more about the 2020 theme and how you can show your support on social media.
  • Veterans DayNovember 11, 2020 – Veteran’s Day is an annual national celebration on for all those who have served, as well as those who continue to do so, in the American armed forces. It is a chance to recognize and support the individuals who protect our freedoms, both at home and overseas.
  • World Diabetes DayNovember 14, 2020 – As the world's largest diabetes awareness campaign, World Diabetes Day brings together inclusive organizations, advocacy groups, media outlets and individuals globally to improve the understanding of diabetes and help improve the lives of those living with it.

December celebratory days

As organizations and communities begin to prepare for the New Year, don’t forget to add a few extra social media campaigns to show support for these two celebratory days:

  • World AIDS DayDecember 1, 2020 – This annual day aims to bring the focus to the significant research that continues to take place in the treatment of HIV/AIDS, as well as tackling the ongoing stigma that surrounds the disease.
  • International Day of People with Disabilities (IDPWD) December 3, 2020 – This United Nations sanctioned day is celebrated annually to acknowledge the value that people with disabilities bring to the workplace and society. Check out idpwd.org to get resources and find out more about the 2020 them.
  • International Human Rights DayDecember 10, 2020 – Human Rights Day is recognized around the world to celebrate how all human beings are born free and equal in dignity and rights. Don’t forget to include the hashtag #StandUp4HumanRights in your social posts.

Getting involved with the wide array of campaigns and events that take place throughout the year is a great way for businesses to improve their level of engagement with individuals with disabilities.

You can follow us on social media and read our regular blog updates to keep up to date with all the latest trending topics in the disabilities space.