October 18 – Disability discrimination occurs when an employer or other entity covered by the Americans with Disabilities Act treats a qualified individual with a disability who is an employee or applicant unfavorably because he or she has a disability.
October 19 – The National Institute of Mental Health reported that each year, one in four Americans experience a mental health disorder. The U.S. Surgeon General reported that ten percent of children and adolescents in the U.S. suffer from emotional and mental disorders that cause significant impairment in their day-to-day lives at home, in school, and with peers.
October 20 – In August 2012, 34 percent of employed veterans with a disability worked in federal, state, or local government, compared with 19 percent of veterans with no disability and 14 percent of nonveterans. The federal government employed 19 percent of veterans with a disability, compared with 7 percent of veterans with no disability and 2 percent of employed nonveterans.
October 21 – Section 4214 of Title 38, United States Code, called upon agencies to establish a separate affirmative action program for disabled veterans as part of the agencies’ efforts to hire, place, and advance persons with disabilities under the Rehabilitation Act of 1973.
October 22 – The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 was the first major legislative effort to secure an equal playing field for individuals with disabilities. This legislation provided a wide range of services for persons with physical and cognitive disabilities. Those disabilities can create significant barriers to full and continued employment, the pursuit of independent living, self-determination, and inclusion in American society.
October 23 – In 1975, the Supreme Court ruled in O’Connor v. Donaldson that people cannot be institutionalized in a psychiatric hospital against their will unless they are determined to be a threat to themselves or to others. Justice Potter Stewart stated, ―That the State has a proper interest in providing care and assistance to the unfortunate goes without saying. But the mere presence of mental illness does not disqualify a person from preferring his home to the comforts of an institution.‖
October 24 – The Road-to-Freedom tour kicked off on November 15, 2006. This 50-state bus tour and photographic exhibit chronicled the history of the grassroots ―people’s movement‖ that led to passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).