This October, ODC is once again celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Recognition of Disability Employment embodies the very mission of our organization. When individuals with disabilities are placed at a business, it creates opportunities for suitable, sustainable employment; which in turn results in greater independence. This nationwide campaign celebrates the skills and talents of workers with disabilities and highlights how they succeed in the workforce.
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) was declared by the United States Congress in 1988 to raise awareness of the employment needs and contribution of individuals with all types of disabilities. This monthly recognition reflects the important role disability plays in the workforce diversity.
“By fostering a culture that embraces individual differences, including disabilities, businesses profit by having a wider variety of tools to confront challenges,” said Jennifer Sheehy, deputy assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. “Our nation’s most successful companies proudly make inclusion a core value. They know that inclusion works. It works for workers, it works for employers, it works for opportunity, and it works for innovation.”
NDEAM’s history dates back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October each year as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, the federal legislature expanded the week to a month and changed the name to NDEAM. When the department established ODEP in 2001, the agency assumed responsibility for NDEAM.
At ODC we know that inclusion works. How? Because we see it every day. Our Employment Specialists and Job Coaches work with these individuals and see them thrive on a day-to-day basis. Inclusion works for business, workers, innovation and opportunity.
Of course, we cannot move forward with our mission without the support of our local businesses. ODC would like to thank all of our partners in business that prove every day how Inclusion Works. Whether you employee an individual with disabilities or if you use any of the ODC’s services, you help make a difference! Thank you!