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National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2023

September 29, 2023

Every October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) offers us an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. Led by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), NDEAM also showcases supportive and inclusive policies and practices benefiting workers and employers.

This year's NDEAM theme, “Advancing Access and Equity: Then, Now, and Next,” was chosen to celebrate the 50th anniversary of the passage of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the first federal legislation to prohibit discrimination and address access and equity for people with disabilities.

“National Disability Employment Awareness Month reminds us of the valued contributions people with disabilities make in our nation’s workplaces, and the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 marks a major milestone in our nation’s ongoing quest to advance access and equity for all Americans,” said Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams. Read the press release.

NDEAM Materials from ODEPNational Disability Employment Awareness Month. Advancing Access and Equity. #NDEAM #RehabAct50 Celebrating 50 Years of the Rehabilitation ACt.

ACL & Employment

Employment is an important part of community inclusion for people with disabilities. Competitive, integrated employment (CIE) – working in the community, alongside people with and without disabilities, at competitive wages – offers a direct pathway to greater independence and self-sufficiency for people with disabilities. Employers can also benefit by having a larger and more diverse talent pool when hiring.

ACL is committed to expanding employment opportunities for people with disabilities. In addition to funding programs that provide direct employment support services to people with disabilities and advocating for policies and practices that prioritize and support CIE as a key element of community living, ACL also is investing in research to increase knowledge about the benefits of employment of people with disabilities – both for the individual and for the employer – and to increase the availability of effective interventions to support employment. 

ACL-funded Work
  • Community Collaborations for Employment: A five-year grant to seven grantees (six are UCEDDs). Launched in September 2021, these grants are designed to fund broad stakeholder collaborations that will increase community capacity to better facilitate the transition of youth with developmental disabilities between schools and the community and support adults to optimize their opportunities for competitive integrated employment.
  • Community Based Transition Partnership Implementation Grants: A three-year implementation grant. Two of the five UCEDD grantees are operationalizing their one planning grant from the previous year focused on addressing barriers around competitive integrated employment.
  • Employment Longitudinal Data Project: A collaboration with the Institute for Community Inclusion / UMass Boston to identify trends and effectiveness of initiatives surrounding day and employment services to support the full inclusion of individuals with I/DD.
  • AoD Disability Employment TA Center: Transforming Networks through System Change, Innovation & Collaboration: A cross-program, evidence-based training and technical assistance center to support AoD grantees further expand their knowledge, skills, and partnerships to improve alignment around a common goal focused on increasing competitive integrated employment and economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities.
ACL & Network Material Highlights
ACL Programs Working on Employment
Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers


Advancing Access and Equity for People with Disabilities through Innovations in Technology

Hosted by: Disability Employment TA Center (DETAC)

October 10, 2023 | Webinar recording and slides on DETAC website

Innovative tools are continually evolving to increase independence by providing accommodations or enhancing access to information and services. The event panel will share how designing solutions to overcome transportation, education, and housing barriers increases opportunities to advance competitive, integrated employment. Panelists will also highlight how partnerships play a key role in generating new creative solutions.

Last modified on 10/16/2023

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