For the first time, Los Alamos National Laboratory will be observing a brand-new celebration for Laboratory employees: Disability Celebration Month. To celebrate, the public is invited to attend a social event on July 21 at 12:30 p.m. at Ashley Pond in downtown Los Alamos organized by DiverseAbility, the Laboratory’s disability-focused employee resource group.
The event will bring together the group’s membership to promote its various activities, and to illustrate how it supports the Laboratory and the surrounding community of individuals with disabilities. The group will be providing food and giving away branded swag and other related information.
“The Laboratory was built on the ideals of inclusion – harnessing the contributions of diverse individuals to enable our national security mission,” Laboratory Director Thom Mason said. “Every person should feel safe, visible and valued, and our work in the community also needs to reflect those ideals.”
Diversity Celebration is a month-long celebration of the disability community, highlighting individuals with disabilities in the Laboratory community and their ongoing accomplishments. July was selected for this celebration because it is the anniversary month of the signing of the American with Disabilities Act by President George H. W. Bush in 1990.
In the five years since it began as a group at the Laboratory, DiverseAbility has taken the lead in promoting a more accessible and inclusive work environment for all employees. DiverseAbility is breaking down the various stigmas and barriers around disability, from inaccessible on-site facilities to general misinformation about disabilities and how they impact a person’s ability to contribute to the mission-critical work being done at the Lab.
“As the group that represents persons with disabilities,” said Else Tennessen, the DiverseAbility board chair, “this very first Disability Celebration Month is an occasion for us to celebrate the abilities of our members—an important, diverse and talented part of the LANL community. Join us!”