In 1945 Congress signed a law declaring the first week of October to be “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” Following that in 1962, the word physically was dropped to remove the limitations it set. The week was later expanded to the entire month of October in 1988 and renamed “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.” To celebrate this years’ theme, America’s Workforce: Empowering All, we’ve listed six steps you can take to empower everyone in your workplace.
- Hold Workplace Seminars
Holding a seminar for all employees gives your company the opportunity to educate all employees on the importance of NDEAM. There are also several PSA videos and accompanying discussion guides available through ODEP that discuss how employees can form inclusive attitudes.
- Train Managers
Training managers how to be inclusive in the workplace shows your employees that it is a priority. It is also important to explain the importance of inclusion to the people who can pass it along when training others.
- Use WRP to recruit
The Workplace Recruitment Program (WRP) is run by ODEP and ODMEO to provide connections for federal and private sector employers. It is a network of current college students and recent grads who are eager to start working in a summer or full-time position.
- Post Informational Flyers
The 2018 NDEAM Posters are available in both English and Spanish and are part of a three-part poster series: I Can, Because and Who I Am. They are perfect for displaying easy-to-read information in company or public spaces.
- Include NDEAM in company newsletter
Including NDEAM in your company-wide communications provides an easy way to spread the word to employees in all areas of the company. There are constantly new articles and newsletters explaining the purpose and mission of NDEAM, which ODEP creates for use by unions and associations.
- Inform Employees of JAN’s role
The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) provides individuals and employers with free training and confidential advice on workplace accommodations and the ADA.
However you chose to spread the word about NDEAM, it is important to remember that one person can make a big difference in educating those around them.