National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)
October is Disability Employment Awareness Month.
This year’s (2011) campaign theme announced by the Office for Disability and Employment Policy (ODEP) is titled "Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities," which promotes the valuable contributions people with disabilities make to America's workplaces and economy.,
Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.
NDEAM's roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month." Upon the agency's establishment in 2001, ODEP assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope ever since.
Although led by ODEP, NDEAM's true spirit lies in the many creative observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Employers, schools and organizations of all sizes and in all communities are encouraged to participate in NDEAM, and ODEP offers a variety of resources to help them do so. Activities range from simple, such as putting up a NDEAM poster, to comprehensive, such as implementing a disability education program. Regardless, all play an important part in fostering a more inclusive America, one where every person is rightly recognized for his or her abilities — every day of every month.
The mission of Work Without Limits is to promote the employment of people with disabilities throughout the year, but in honor of this month we’d like to point you to a few resources around special disability employment efforts and activities.
More Department of Labor employment statistics can be found here.
The national Office on Disability Employment Policy, an office of the United States Department of Labor, contains links and information about hiring people with disabilities.
Through its services and supports, the Massachusetts Rehabilitation Commission is the state agency responsible for promoting the dignity of individuals with disabilities through employment and independent living in the community. Find out more about MRC at www.mass.gov/mrc.
Among networks and organizations that provide assistance to employers and employees with disabilities around hiring, recruitment and accommodations, there is the Employer Assistance & Resource Network, the National Organization on Disability and the Job Accommodation Network.