October is National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month

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Declared in 1988 by the United States Congress, October is recognized as National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This is a time to celebrate and educate the importance of employing people with disabilities. Seventy percent of working-aged American’s who are blind or visually impaired are unemployed. This figure is unacceptably high given the abundance of assistive technology available and record low unemployment rates among the general population. 

This year’s theme for NDEAM is Advancing Access and Equity. An inclusive workforce is a strong workforce. It is critical to recognize the importance of ensuring all people have equal opportunity to contribute their skills and talents by providing the resources needed to succeed. NDEAM counters negative attitudes and misunderstandings that persist and lead to unequal employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

How can you celebrate NDEAM?

Get educated!

Spread the word!

Be an advocate!

  • Commit to making your community accessible to people with different disabilities
  • Support artists with disabilities
  • Participate in protests and demonstrations on disability issues
  • Join and/or donate to disability organizations you like
  • Talk about disability issues with friends, family, classmates, and coworkers

Employer Resources

Inclusive apprenticeship programs help employers access a wider talent pool. Learn how to start or expand an apprenticeship program: dol.gov/agencies/odep/program-areas/apprenticeship

The Job Accommodation Network helps employers increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities:  AskJAN.org 

Want to hire a diverse, talented workforce? This free online toolkit from AskJAN.org/toolkit  has tools to create a more disability-inclusive and compliant workplace 

Employers: Are you using accessible technology to increase access and opportunity for people with disabilities? The Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology can help: PEATWorks.org

The Campaign for Disability Employment, an initiative of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, offers PSAs and more that employers can incorporate into National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrations: WhatCanYouDoCampaign.org

For more information about #NDEAM visit dol.gov/ndeam

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