National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Happy National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)!

This year's theme is "America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion." As our nation begins the process of recovering from the COVID-19 pandemic, it’s more important than ever that "people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement."

History of NDEAM

In 1945, Congress enacted a law declaring that the first week in October each year would be designated as "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week."  But in 1962, they removed the word "physically"  to acknowledge the employment contributions by individuals with all types of disabilities.

It wasn’t until 1988 that Congress extended that week into a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month." The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) was established in 2001 and has been responsible for NDEAM since.

Why You Should Hire People With Disabilities

  • Available - Over 11% of working individuals identify themselves as having a disability
  • Educated - 30% of individuals with disabilities hold college degrees
  • Dedicated -statistically this group has less absenteeism
  • Hard working - are not at all impeded from getting the job done
  • Accommodations -  if needed, cost little to nothing – averaging $500 or less
  • Training time - consistent with the average employee

~ courtesy of the Commonwealth of Virginia, Department of Human Resource Management

How to Celebrate, How to Make a Difference

Check out ODEP’s " 31 Days of NDEAM " for all kinds of great ideas for celebrating and educating others about NDEAM. The list also includes many ways to help you start making a difference in your own organization.

Some ideas include:

 

 

Resources

Maggie Vaughan, CPACC
~ friend of DubBot, A11Y practitioner in higher ed