October 1st commemorates the start of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the various contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. 2020 is an exciting year, as it marks the 75th anniversary of NDEAM and the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
The roots of this month date back to 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October to be “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week”. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.” Since then, the US Department of Labor has created the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) to ensure that people with disabilities are seen as valued members of the labor force and have the resources necessary to be outstanding employees.
NACDD celebrates NDEAM as it brings people with disabilities into the forefront of the workforce conversation, ensuring that their voices are heard. “We truly believe that this celebration sheds light on the wonderful accomplishments our nation has made in its ability to support a fully inclusive workforce, said Donna Meltzer, CEO of NACDD. “We still have much work to do but we are making progress every day and will continue to focus on the employment of people with disabilities well beyond the month-long celebration.”
To celebrate the milestones and month, the DOL has created various events and activities with the theme “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” To check out all events held this month, click here.