2020 marks the 75th observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and also the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The theme for this year is ‘Increasing Access and Opportunity”.
NDEAM is administered by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment. The purpose of National Disability month is to celebrate America’s workers with disabilities and to remind employers of the importance of inclusive hiring. Office of Disability Employment Policy Deputy Assistant Secretary Jennifer Sheehy has said, “People with disabilities are experienced problem solvers with a proven ability to adapt. Now more than ever, flexibility is important for both workers and employers. National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrates the ingenuity people with disabilities bring to America’s workplaces.”
Here are some ideas for federal agencies who wish to participate in NDEAM:
- Join Feed – Federal Exchange on Employment & Disability. This is an interagency working group which focuses on information sharing, best practices, and collaborative partnerships to help make the federal government a positive employer of people with disabilities.
- Access the Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) – this program connects federal and private sector employees to qualified students and recent graduates with disabilities.
- Provide federal-specific training – Agencies can use this month to provide training to all employees and refresher training to disability program managers, hiring managers, supervisors, EEO representatives and selective placement coordinators.
- Start a mentoring program – Federal agencies can participate in Disability Mentoring Day (see References below) on the third Wednesday of October.
- Feature NDEAM in social media activities – using the hashtag #NDEAM