National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) takes place annually in October. Its main purposes are to:
- Educate the public about the obstacles people with disabilities face in seeking meaningful employment
- Promote awareness of the benefits of an inclusive, diverse workforce and the contributions people with disabilities make in their roles
- Celebrate these contributions
- Reaffirm a dedication to equal opportunity for all citizens
Origins of NDEAM
What we know as NDEAM today began back in 1945. Back then, the awareness initiative, established by an act of Congress, was called “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” It was held each year during the first week of October. Eventually realizing that the campaign name excluded people with other types of disabilities, the word “physically” was dropped in 1962.
It was in 1988 that the initiative was extended from one week to one month, and the name was changed to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.”
National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2019
The NDEAM theme for October 2019 is “The Right talent, right now.”
If you’d like to help spread the word, you can download the official 2019 post in English or Spanish on the US Department of Labor website.
You can also visit the NDEAM resource page on the DOL website to find helpful information for individuals, businesses, nonprofits, and other organizations, such as:
- Tips and sample posts for sharing NDEAM information on social media
- A sample NDEAM proclamation you can use if your company or nonprofit would like to publicly recognize the campaign and pledge your support to its goals
- An informative article template for use in local publications, websites, and blogs
- Ideas for promoting awareness and celebrating the spirit of NDEAM year-round