The National Association of Councils on Developmental Disabilities (NACDD) celebrates National Hispanic Heritage Month, recognizing the contributions made and the presence of Hispanic and Latino Americans, and celebrates their heritage and culture.
Congress established National Hispanic Heritage Month in 1988, from September 15 to October 15 in recognition of the pivotal contributions and legacy of the Latino community that traces its roots to Mexico, Central America, South America, the Caribbean, and farther beyond. Latinx have done so much to support and make the United States of America what it is today. For NACDD, this celebration also includes the 5.1 million Latinx living with a disability in the country.
According to the Annual Disability Statistics Compendium released in 2020, which compiles data collected by the U.S. Census Bureau, showed that in 39.4 percent of working-age Latinx people with disabilities had jobs, compared to 76 percent of Latinx people without disabilities. When it comes to the Hispanic population in the U.S., they are the second-fastest growing group in the country with 60.6 million as of July 1, 2019.
It is critical we also recognize and thank those in the Hispanic and Latinx community that are part of our front line workers. Every day, front line workers help conduct a range of operations and services that are typically essential to our critical everyday lives. The industries that many in these communities’ support represent medical and healthcare, telecommunications, food and agriculture, as well – public works. According to American Community Survey, essential workers represent nearly 70 percent of all workers with the Hispanic Community making up the second largest block of essential workers, primarily in the healthcare and agriculture sectors. This has been a difficult time with the pandemic, asking more of these communities who have risked their lives and have worked tirelessly to make sure others are safe and taken care of.
Therefore, during National Hispanic Heritage Month, we continue to celebrate this community’s countless contributions, dedication and fortitude, but not necessarily as something new. The American story is incomplete without the vibrant and enduring history of the Latinx and Hispanic community. So, we must continue our efforts because this is a unique time and place for them to use their our voice, to share their stories, and continue educating people about both visible and invisible disabilities in the Latinx community.