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National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2022

October 1, 2022

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 ODEPNational Disability Employment Awareness Month. Disability: Part of the equity equation. #NDEAM

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
ACL Programs Working on Employment
Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers


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

Last modified on 09/27/2023

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