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Prepare Now! National Disability Employment Awareness Month Is Coming in October

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a nationwide campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and honors the diverse contributions of America’s workers with disabilities, will be observed in October. Its official theme for 2014 is “Expect. Employ. Empower.”

During NDEAM, amputees have the opportunity to help raise awareness about people with disabilities and their willingness and ability to participate successfully in the workforce. It is also a great opportunity to collaborate on awareness activities with the greater disability community and develop beneficial relationships for the future.

“We all have a role to play in-and benefit to gain from-increasing opportunities for meaningful employment for people with disabilities,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Kathy Martinez. “This year’s theme encapsulates this in three powerful words. It conveys that advancing disability employment is about much more than just hiring. It’s about creating a continuum of inclusion. And the first step on this continuum is expectation.”

NDEAM traces its history to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was deleted to acknowledge the needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and adopted its current name.

For more information on how you can observe, celebrate, or participate in NDEAM, visit www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/index-2014.htm. This website includes a Resource Toolbox with templates to help you develop content for an article, a social media posting, or a press release, as well as numerous other ideas for getting involved.

Suggestions include activities such as the following:

  • Put up an NDEAM poster.
  • Post something about NDEAM on a website or on social media.
  • Hold an assembly to talk about NDEAM and/or employing people with disabilities.
  • Send a press release about NDEAM to your local media.
  • Include an article about NDEAM or the employment of people with disabilities in your or your organization’s newsletter.
  • Educate others about disability etiquette.
  • Develop a disability awareness training program at work.
  • Recruit and hire people with disabilities in your company.

In addition to these ideas and those on the website, you can probably come up with several of your own.

Please let Amplitude know how you plan to observe, celebrate, or participate in NDEAM next month. E-mail Rick Bowers, Amplitude contributing editor, at [email protected]. We’d love to hear from you.

This article was adapted from information provided by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy.

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