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October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a national campaign that celebrates employees with disabilities and their contributions to the world of work, and encourages employers to adopt new policies and practices. In this blog, Galt Foundation shares ODEP’s theme for this year, as well as their ideas on how your organization can celebrate this important initiative.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a national campaign that celebrates employees with disabilities and their contributions to the world of work. It also encourages employers to adopt new policies and practices – including hiring procedures – that promote diversity and inclusivity in the workplace. This federal initiative is administered by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), whose core mission is to ensure equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Beginning in 1945, this campaign supported service members who had returned from the Second World War with injuries and disabilities by increasing opportunities for employment. While it was initially just the first week of October, the campaign has evolved over the years to become a month-long observance, now called National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). For more information on its history and impact, read our blog.
This year, the theme of NDEAM is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” which, according to ODEP’s website, “reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.”
Not sure how your organization can celebrate and support employees with disabilities this NDEAM? ODEP provides helpful ideas for employers.
Ideas for Employers on Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month
- Review your company’s policies to ensure they convey a commitment to an inclusive workplace culture.
- Establish an employee resource group to provide employees an opportunity to connect and receive support from others with similar backgrounds or interests.
- Create a display around your office or digitally on internal employee channels that showcases your company’s commitment to a disability-inclusive workforce.
- Train supervisors to ensure they understand their role in fostering an inclusive workplace culture, such as knowing relevant policies and providing reasonable accommodations.
- Educate employees effectively and regularly to reinforce your company’s commitment to disability inclusion.
- Publish articles on your employee newsletter or internal website that address a range of topics, such as general information about the company’s commitment to an inclusive workplace, the process for requesting reasonable accommodations, or recognizing the contributions of employees with disabilities.
- Feature NDEAM in your social media posts and include the hashtag #NDEAM.
Issue an NDEAM press release to local media to announce your involvement in NDEAM.
- Participate in Disability Mentoring Day, which promotes career development for youth with disabilities through hands-on programs, job shadowing, and ongoing mentoring.For in-depth advice on how to execute each of the action items, visit ODEP’s website here.
If some of those ideas sound great but might be longer-term goals for your organization, ODEP provides ideas that you can implement immediately. On their website, you can find resources for NDEAM, including posters, press releases, and social post copy, making it easy to participate in the celebration.
Unsure where to start in your NDEAM celebrations? ODEP also provides a 31-day guide to NDEAM to give you ideas on what to do every day of the month.
As an employer of people with disabilities, Galt Foundation fully supports this initiative and encourages other employers to take part in NDEAM this year.
If you are an individual with a disability who needs help finding employment – or if you know of someone with a disability who is looking for work – check out the latest job opportunities.
Please don’t hesitate to contact the friendly associates at Galt Foundation. You can reach us here, or call us at 1-877-361-1277, and we’d be happy to help.