October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of NDEAM is to provide education about disability employment issues and to celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.”
The history of NDEAM traces 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.
“Americans of all abilities must have access to good, safe jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving situations leads to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition and drives innovation.”
Reflecting this year’s theme, throughout the month, DCBDD will be highlighting stories of successful employment and employment resources. “DCBDD is proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Superintendent Kristine Hodge. “We want to spread the important message that providing inclusive gainful employment opportunities is beneficial to both the employee and the business.”