October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)! Every year, we celebrate the hard work of employees with disabilities and work to make sure that everyone, no matter their abilities, can be a part of our workplaces.
This year, we’re also marking 50 years since the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 became a law. This important rule makes it illegal to treat people with disabilities unfairly at work. This year’s theme is all about making sure everyone gets a fair chance at work – now and moving forward.
While we celebrate how far we’ve come, we’re also committed to making sure that everyone has an equal opportunity to find and keep a job.
What is NDEAM?
NDEAM stands for National Disability Employment Awareness Month. It’s a national campaign that happens every October in the United States. The history of this event goes back to 1945 when Congress declared the first week of October as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” It has since grown to include all types of disabilities and now lasts for the whole month.
This yearly campaign reminds businesses that they have a responsibility to make their workplaces fair and diverse. It also gives them resources and ideas to support NDEAM throughout the year.
When organizations create places where everyone can do well, it helps us reach our full potential, work together better, and grow.
How Can You Support NDEAM?
You don’t need to be an employer to help NDEAM. Here are some ways individuals can get involved:
- Educate Yourself: Learn about what it’s like for people with disabilities at work. Understand their rights and why it’s important to have workplaces that are open and welcoming to everyone.
- Advocate: Speak up for hiring practices that include people with disabilities in your community. Encourage local businesses to think about hiring people with disabilities.
- Volunteer: Many organizations and charities focus on disability awareness and advocacy. They can use your help, whether it’s offering your time or skills. Your support can make a big difference.
- Raise Awareness: Share information about NDEAM and why it’s important to have inclusive workplaces with your friends, family, and on social media. Just spreading the word can make a difference.
- Support Inclusive Brands: When you shop or choose services, consider businesses that are known for being inclusive and for employing people with disabilities.
- From Celebration to Action
National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a time to celebrate the special skills and contributions of people with disabilities at work. By promoting inclusive workplaces and fighting for equal opportunities, we can create places where everyone can succeed. This NDEAM, let’s work together to make our workplaces open and supportive for all people!