Every October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month offers us an opportunity to celebrate the many contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. This year's NDEAM theme, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has a variety of resources to help you celebrate the month, including:
- Posters in English and Spanish,
- Sample articles and proclamations, and
- Sample social media posts and tips to ensure your posts are accessible.
ODEP also has a "31 Days of NDEAM" calendar with daily activity ideas as well as specific ideas for disability-related organizations and employers.
In the White House's National Disability Employment Awareness Month proclamation, President Joseph Biden said: "When we passed the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) 31 years ago, our Nation moved closer to fulfilling its foundational promise of liberty, justice, dignity, and equality for all. I was enormously proud to co-sponsor the ADA as a member of the United States Senate — a truly bipartisan effort that was personal to millions of families. For more than 60 million disabled Americans, the ADA is much more than just a law. It provides a vital source of opportunity and self-sufficiency, allows for increased economic participation, and serves as a powerful shield against discrimination in the workplace. National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a chance for us to celebrate workers with disabilities and recommit ourselves to dismantling barriers to access and inclusion in the workplace."
ACL NDEAM Activities and Announcements
- ACL shared stories, research, and resources all month long through ACL Updates via email, as well as on our Facebook and Twitter channels.
- The ACL-funded Disability Employment Technical Assistance Center hosted a webinar on October 12 to celebrate the importance of including people with disabilities in the nation's workforce during National Disability Employment Awareness Month. View the webinar replay.
- ACL hosted a Virtual Event of Final Presentations for the Inclusive Talent Pipeline for American Businesses Challenge Competition on October 19.
- The ACL-funded Disability Employment Technical Assistance Center is hosting a webinar on November 9 about supporting individuals with disabilities to obtain financial literacy when planning for employment. Learn more and register.
- ACL awarded a Project of National Significance on Community Collaborations for Employment.
- ACL awarded several Disability Employment Research Grants.
- ACL awarded a Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment Practices.
- Statement from the EEOC Chair for National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
- ACL published a guest blog on Putting Faith to Work: How Faith Communities Can Support Employment for People with Disabilities.
- ACL awarded the Grand Prize for the “Inclusive Talent Pipeline for American Businesses" Challenge.
Disability Employment Resources from ACL
Resources for People with Disabilities and their Families and Friends
- Centers for Independent Living are consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonprofit agencies that provide an array of independent living services, including services that can help with employment.
- ACL-funded state assistive technology programs provide information on tools and services that can help a person with a disability perform activities that might otherwise be difficult, whether at home or in the workplace.
- The Job Accommodation Network is an ODEP-funded technical assistance center providing free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations for applicants and employees with disabilities.
- The Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Learning and Working During the Transition to Adulthood (Transitions RTC) has fact sheets for young people with mental health conditions who are entering the job market on applying for a job, keeping a job, and disclosing a disability at work. Also, the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center (RRTC) on Community Living and Participation of Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities (TU Collaborative) produced a Practical Guide for People with Mental Health Conditions Who Want to Work.
- Job seekers who are blind or have visual impairments may want to explore Career Advantage for VIPs, developed by the project on Transition Services that Lead to Competitive Employment Outcomes for Transition-Age Individuals with Blindness or Other Visual Impairments. The eight instructional modules cover the processes of self-assessment, career exploration, job searching, resume development, job accommodations, and more.
- The ADA National Network has a fact sheet on Work-Leave, the ADA, and the FMLA.
Resources for Employers
- Funded by NIDILRR, the ADA National Network provides information, guidance and training on how to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act. Browse resources for employers or call 800-949-4232.
- ODEP's Resources for Employers Page provides tools to help effectively recruit, retain, and advance people with disabilities.
- The Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities by encouraging employers and others to recognize the value and talent they bring to the workplace.
- NIDILRR's Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employer Practices Related to Employment Outcomes Among Individuals with Disabilities looked at the literature and surveyed human resources professionals on the effect of inclusive human resources and practices.
- The California Employment Consortium for Youth and Young Adults with Intellectual and Other Developmental Disabilities (CECY) has posted several videos that illustrate how employers are successfully integrating and supporting employees with intellectual and developmental disabilities. CECY is one of 14 Partnerships in Integrated Employment (PIE) grants being funded by ACL's Administration for Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities.
- For those on the hiring side interested in building an inclusive workforce, engaging frontline personnel, and encouraging strategic planning related to changing policies and workforce dynamics that impact the demand for qualified candidates with disabilities, visit the tools, resources, and training available from the Diversity Partners Intervention: Moving the Disability Employment Needle Trough Value Added Relationships Between Talent Acquisition Providers and the Business Community at www.buildingdiversitypartners.org.
Resources for States, Policymakers, and Nonprofits
- ACL Profiles in Integrated Employment highlights stories and best practices from agencies and states leading the way towards integrated employment for people with disabilities. Read tips for employment service providers transitioning to an integrated employment model.
- Find out how Medicaid Buy-In is opening the door to employment for people with disabilities.
- The National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth) assists state and local workforce development systems to better serve all youth, including youth with disabilities.
- A recent issue of our Research In Focus series highlighted research from the Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Employment Outcomes for People who are Blind or Visually Impaired that focused on the keys to employer-agency relationships that lead to successful outcomes for job seekers with visual disabilities.
ACL has a collection of disability employment resources for people with disabilities and their families, employers, service providers and educators, and states and policy-makers.