National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) 2018 is taking place across the country throughout October. The celebratory month provides inclusive organizations an opportunity to celebrate job seekers with disabilities in the workforce.
The theme of NDEAM this year is 'America's Workforce: Empowering All.' The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) chooses the annual theme and this year they’re emphasizing the importance of ensuring that all Americans have the same opportunities and support that enables them to be successful in the workforce.
What is NDEAM and how did it begin?
NDEAM was officially launched by Congress in 1945 and the scope of this annual campaign grew considerably in 1988, when it was extended to encompass a full month of events and educational activities. The goal of the extension was to better spread the message of the positive benefits that individuals with disabilities bring to all industries and communities in the United States.
Today, NDEAM brings together inclusive employers, colleges and universities, non-profit organizations, and communities across the country in celebration of the positive impact individuals with disabilities provide in society.
What can you do to get involved this year?
There are a host of activities that employers can take part in to support for NDEAM:
1.Educate your employees – Organize training programs to educate your teams on the importance of inclusion in the workplace. The Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) is a great resource for videos and discussion guides for employers to leverage!
2.Review your company policies - Ensure that all of your policies clearly convey a commitment to an inclusive workplace culture. Send out a Communication to all of your employees during October to ensure everyone is aware of these policies and your commitment to inclusion.
4.Promote Disability Mentoring Day - Founded in 1999 to increase awareness around NDEAM, Disability Mentoring Day is a nationwide event that aims to provide improved career development opportunities for students with disabilities.
5.Establish an Employee Resource Group (ERG) – create an ERG focused on supporting and educating employees about accommodations and accessibility for individuals with disabilities.