During the month of October, IEL and its National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) are celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Organized by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), NDEAM is a campaign aimed to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate contributions of employees with disabilities. This year's theme is “Expect. Employ. Empower.”
In celebration of NDEAM, on October 14, IEL’s NCWD/Youth staff attended the White House Disability Employment Champions of Change event, which honored 10 individuals working to improve inclusive workplace outcomes for people with disabilities. The event focused on recruitment, hiring practices, and what employees can do to retain and promote employees with disabilities.
At the event, ODEP Assistant Secretary Kathy Martinez unveiled a new public service announcement entitled “Who I Am,” which shows people with disabilities sharing the many characteristics that make them who they are, including their jobs. Martinez also penned a related blog entitled “Building Inclusion.”
Organizations and individuals around the country can take the time during NDEAM to reflect on their own disability employment practices or to organize events promoting disability hiring such as Disability Mentoring Day (DMD), a national job-shadowing initiative for youth and job-seekers with disabilities.