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, “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation,” recognizes the important role individuals with disabilities play in a diverse and inclusive American workforce.
“A strong workforce is the sum of many parts, and disability has always been a key part of the equation,” said Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams. “People with disabilities make up a wonderfully multifaceted group. By recognizing the full complexion of our community, we can ensure our efforts to achieve disability inclusion are, in fact, truly inclusive.” Read the press release.
NDEAM Materials from ODEP
- Download or Order the NDEAM Poster
- #NDEAM Social Media Kit
- NDEAM Drop-In Articles
- Sample NDEAM Proclamation
- Sample NDEAM Participation Press Release
- Employer Strategies for Advancing Inclusion
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 Planning Grants: A one-year planning grant. Three of the five UCEDD grantees are convening state partners focused on addressing barriers around 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
- A Framework for Community Engagement: A Pathway to CIE (ACL, OSERS, ODEP, SAMHSA)
- Resource Leveraging & Service Coordination to Increase CIE for Individuals with Disabilities (ACL, ED, DOL, SSA, CMS, SAMHSA)
- Fact Sheet: Research Supporting CIE (ACL, NIDILRR)
- Assistive Technology & Employment Toolkit: A Resource for Supporting Individuals with Disabilities to Utilize Technology to Pursue & Sustain CIE (Disability Employment TA Center, AT3 Center)
- ACL Programs Working on Employment
- Centers for Independent Living are consumer-controlled, community-based, cross-disability, nonprofits that can help with employment options.
- UCEDDs conduct research and support programs, many of which promote integrated employment for people with developmental disabilities (DD).
- DD Councils promote CIE through systems change and capacity-building efforts. Several Councils support Project Search (internship opportunities).
- Protection & Advocacy Systems advocate for CIE for people with disabilities and protect their right to be free from employment discrimination.
- The State Grant for Assistive Technology Program provides resources and services that can help people perform workplace activities.
- The National Institute for Disability, Independent Living, and Rehabilitation Research has been conducting research on employment for people with disabilities and testing interventions for decades.
- Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers
- Employer Disability Practices Center (Rutgers)
- RRTC on Employment of People Who are Blind or Have Low Vision (Mississippi State University)
- Disability Inclusive Employment Policy RRTC (Syracuse University)
- RRTC on Employment of Transition-Age Youth with Disabilities (Virginia Commonwealth University)
- RRTC on Employer Practices for Individuals with Disabilities (Virginia Commonwealth University)
- Improving Employment Outcomes for Individuals with Psychiatric Disabilities RRTC (Trustees of Boston University)
- The Learning & Working During the Transition to Adulthood RRTC (UMass Chan Medical School)
- Research & Training Center on Disability in Rural Communities (University of Montana)
- RRTC: Employment and Disability (Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago)
ADA Live! Podcast Episode 110: Ensuring Equity in Employment: A Celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)
Produced by: the Southeast ADA Center
October 5, 2022 | Listen to the podcast
Thinking Outside the Box: States’ Journey in Using American Rescue Plan Funding to Increase Competitive, Integrated Employment
Hosted by: Disability Employment TA Center (DETAC)
October 11, 2022, 3:00-4:30 pm ET | Learn more
Employer Chat on Workplace Mental Health and Well-Being
Hosted by: U.S. Department of Labor (DOL)
October 13, 2022, 10:00-11:15 am ET | Watch the event
Building a Disability-Inclusive Organization
Hosted by: Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
October 13, 2022, 2:00-3:00 pm ET | Learn more
Retaining Valued Employees with Disabilities: The Importance of Performance Coaching and Management
Hosted by: Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN)
October 19, 2022, 2:00-3:00 pm ET | Learn more and register
Opening the Door: Importance of Great Person-Centered Conversations on Employment
Co-hosted by: National Center on Advancing Person-Centered Practices and Systems (NCAPPS) and the State Employment Leadership Network (SELN)
October 19, 2022, 3:00-4:30 pm ET | Learn more and register
DC Employment First Summit: Achieving Employment Outcomes: Partnering for Change – The Next 10 Years of Employment First
Hosted by: the DC Developmental Disabilities Council, DC Department on Disability Services, DC Office of Disability Rights, Project ACTION!, DC Coalition of Disability Service Providers, RCM of Washington, and The Arc of DC
October 20-21, 2022 | Learn more and register