October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The U.S Department of labor announced that the 2020 theme for this awareness month is “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” This year, the country is not only celebrating the 75th observance of NDEAM, which is administered by the Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, but also the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. The ADA is civil rights legislation that has worked to increase opportunities and access for people with disabilities not just in the workplace, but within society in general.
The U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia stated that, “Ensuring that America’s workplaces continue to include and accommodate people with disabilities will be an important part of our economic rebound… A vigorous economic rebound and job growth will, alongside the Americans with Disabilities Act, increase access and opportunity for Americans with disabilities.” This national month of awareness is important with helping to recognize people with disabilities as an asset and part of the team within their workplaces. It also assists with educating the public about employment issues for individuals with disabilities in this country.
NDEAM is rightfully celebrated because employment is a human right and it is a major way that society judges and treats people throughout their adult lives. Being able to obtain employment gives an individual with disabilities respect, self-dignity, and independence from others. Self-advocates and allies in the National Disability Employment Awareness Month will push the needle forward and help empower, educate, and engage the public from diverse backgrounds to help create more employment opportunities for all people.
Every October, the National Disability Employment Awareness Month helps celebrate our country’s workers with disabilities and shows employers the importance of having an inclusive hiring process for their company. All industries, community groups, and organizations are encouraged to participate throughout the month. People with disabilities have the proven ability to adapt to their surrounds. These individuals have ingenuity that is an asset to the American workforce. They should all be given the opportunity to showcase their talents fairly and without judgement.
For more information on NDEAM please visit the following resources: