The Right Talent, Right Now


Each day, people with disabilities add significant value and expertise to our workforce and the U.S. economy.

By Chris Pilkerton, Acting Administrator
Gaye Walker, Acting Assistant Administrator for the Office of Diversity, Inclusion and Civil Rights

During the past week, you’ve probably paid attention to or interacted with a colleague entering a place of work with a support dog, in a wheelchair, or using a white cane to guide them. However, you may not have noticed the employee whose challenges are more understated.

Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990, the number of known workers with disabilities has increased substantially. These skilled team members help drive innovation and solutions within their respective jobs, while contributing greatly to the diversity and improved morale of the entire company.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and this year’s theme is “The Right Talent, Right Now.” Throughout the month, the SBA continues to encourage entrepreneurship and self-employment to enable more people with disabilities to enter the workforce. Together, we also celebrate the overall workplace achievements of people with disabilities, while continuing to support the hiring of these workers in the small business community and the federal government.

In September, the SBA held a successful Workforce Development Expo in Washington, D.C. Business leaders and representatives from local governments and nonprofit organizations met to share valuable insights about training and employment initiatives for persons with disabilities. With unemployment near a record low, small businesses are finding it more challenging to hire talented workers. Hiring disabled individuals can help businesses meet their talent needs while strengthening their competitive edge. The SBA maintains an online toolkit specifically designed to help small businesses increase employment for Americans with disabilities – access these resources at

Each day, people with disabilities add significant value and expertise to our workforce and the U.S. economy. These workers offer fresh perspectives on how to tackle real-world challenges and achieve success. People with disabilities have the right talent, right now.

About the author

Chris Pilkerton

Chris Pilkerton

Acting Administrator and General Counsel

Chris Pilkerton serves as the Acting Administrator and General Counsel of the U.S. Small Business Administration.

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