October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
The United States celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) throughout the month of October. Each year a new theme is chosen by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL). This 2022, the NDEAM theme is Disability: Part of the Equity Equation, which recognizes the vital role persons with disabilities bring to workforce diversity and inclusion, both in the public and private sector.”
American employees with disabilities are essential to the Nation, economy, and workplace which is why this month its more important than ever to emphasize equal opportunities for all people. Many businesses have gone over and beyond to put policies in place to advance diversity, equity, inclusion, and accessibility (DEIA) in the workplace.
Back in 1945 President Truman recognized the need to give more access to disabled people and allow them to benefit from work opportunities. Truman then established the first National Disability Employment Awareness Month, but it wasn’t until 1990, forty-five years later, when Congress finally passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
According to the ADA National Network, the ADA enforces that “employers must provide reasonable accommodations to qualified applicants or employees. A reasonable accommodation is any modification or adjustment to a job or the work environment that will enable an applicant or employee with a disability to participate in the application process or to perform essential job functions.”
If you recall in our recent article concerning Social Security Announces Disability Inclusion in the Workplace, it is evident that HR departments are doing their part in making adaptations for compromised employees by providing that individual with the tools they need in order to work efficiently.
In a recent White House briefing, President Joe Biden announced “the Departments of Education, Labor, Health and Human Services, and the Social Security Administration, are helping State and local governments, employers, and nonprofits that hire people with disabilities to access funding for competitive integrated employment opportunities.”
Ways to Recognize National Disability Employment Awareness Month in the workplace:
- Host a discussion the importance of disability inclusion
- Feature a performer, panelist, or speaker with a disability
- Hashtag #NDEAM when posting about this topic to social media this month
- Host a lunch and learn on disability topics
- Ensure your organization’s DEIA policies are up to date
- Review hiring processes to eliminate disability bias
- Incorporate disability training in your company’s onboarding process
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