How can I help with National Disability Employment Awareness Month ?
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Each year the contributions of workers with disabilities are celebrated during the whole month of October.
This year’s theme, “The Right Talent, Right Now,” emphasizes the important role people with disabilities play in America’s workforce, particularly during a period of low unemployment and strong worldwide competition that creates a demand for skilled workers.
This month recognizes and calls attention to the employment potential of people with disabilities who often do not have the same opportunities as people who are not disabled.
Public recognition of workers with disabilities was sparked by the return of veterans from World War II.
Although early laws created vocational rehabilitation programs for wounded veterans, many individuals with disabilities experienced significant employment discrimination. In 1935 the League for the Physically Handicapped protested when 300 of its members were turned down for WPA (Works Progress Administration) jobs. The protests resulted in the creation of a few thousand jobs and more importantly, drew attention to employment issues faced by people with disabilities. In 1945 President Harry Truman declared the first week of October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped from the title to acknowledge the contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities, and in 1988 National Employ the Handicapped Week was expanded to become National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
If you have been denied disability don’t give up! Contact a Disability lawyer at 512-454-4000 for a free consultation and get the benefits you deserve.
Everyone can take part in National Disability Employment Awareness Month to recognize individuals with disabilities as skilled and valuable employees and encourage hiring them.
There are a variety of ways employers and associations can spread awareness of these important issues.
- Create a display as a reminder of your company’s commitment to inclusiveness (Posters can be downloaded from the Department of Labor website; see www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam) or feature National Disability Employment Awareness Month in your company newsletter or website
- Review employment policies to ensure fair hiring practices and an inclusive workplace culture
- Create an employee resource group or network to offer employees an opportunity to connect with other employees with similar backgrounds
- Post your company’s support of NDEAM on social media
- Train supervisors to create an inclusive workplace by reviewing hiring practices, company procedures and workplace accommodations for different disabilities
- Educate employees regarding the ADA and disability inclusion
- Publish informative articles in your company newsletter, magazine, or website on topics of general interest to employees with disabilities, such as how to request a workplace accommodation
- Participate in Disability Mentoring Day (Third Wednesday of October). DMD promotes career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities through career exploration and mentoring
- Post a link on the organization website publicizing National Disability Employment Awareness Month
- Post a message to members from the President regarding NDEAM on the organization website or via email
- Organize an event or presentation for local employers that focuses on hiring people with disabilities and its benefits
- Hold a poster contest for children and recognize winners at a later reception
- Develop a disability employment webpage with tools and resources for employers so they can better understand the issues and create an inclusive workplace
In recognition of NDEAM, Austin’s PBS station, KLRU, will air a special one-hour installment of ATX Together in October.
This town hall program will discuss the employment challenges as well as the successes of individuals in Austin who have disabilities. It will also examine how local employers can be encouraged to hire people with disabilities and highlight some local employers and agencies who are creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
Also on television during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the stories of three young people, each living with an intellectual disability, will be told on Intelligent Lives.
Narrated by Academy Award winning actor Chris Cooper, the program follows these young adults as they navigate high school, college, and the workforce with the support of family, friends, and colleagues. Intelligent Lives will premiere on the WORLD Channel October 22 at 8 p.m. ET (7 p.m. CT and 9 p.m. PT).
National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an opportunity for everyone to learn about employment issues facing individuals with disabilities and appreciate their skills and potential.
Disability benefits are an important source of income for those who are unable to work. If you not able to work due to accident or illness, you may be eligible for Social Security Disability or Long Term Disability benefits. If you have applied for benefits and been denied, contact the attorneys at Bemis, Roach and Reed for a free consultation. Call 512-454-4000 and get help NOW.
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