EDWARDS AIR FORCE BASE, Calif. --
Airmen from Edwards Air Force Base hosted a National Disability Employment Awareness Month observance at the Rosburg Fitness Center, Oct. 29, to pay tribute to the accomplishments of those with disabilities.
Several Airmen from Edwards AFB came out to support and take part in a match of wheelchair rugby, sponsored by the Triumph Foundation.
“We put on a wheelchair rugby clinic for the men and women that are stationed at the base and that work on the base for National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Andrew Skinner, the founder of The Triumph Foundation. “Our goal is to highlight the capabilities of people that have disabilities by challenging people to an athletic game that is like bumper cars and wheelchairs; full contact.”
The foundation is a local non-profit organization with the mission to help children, adults and Veterans with spinal cord injuries or other disorders to triumph over their disability and motivate them by moving forward with their everyday lives. The Triumph Foundation encourages audience participation in competitive sports, organized events, and health and wellness activities.
The Edwards AFB NDEAM committee, headed by Chairperson Alyssa Kimble, aimed to educate Team Edwards about the experiences and challenges those with disabilities face every day.
“They might sit in the wheelchair for a bit and play the sport, but that isn’t giving a real world perspective on the challenges that disabled people have gone through over the years,” said Alyssa Kimble, 773rd Test Squadron 416th Flight Test Squadron, Human Factors Engineer.
Kimble added, NDEAM shows that although some people may be in a wheelchair, it doesn’t mean they are “less than.”
“Rather seeing their disability, see their ability,” she said.
The purpose of NDEAM is to educate the public about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities, according to the U.S. Department of Labor website. NDEAM is an opportunity to allow the Department of Defense’s commitment to recruit, retain, and advance individuals with disabilities throughout the workforce.