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Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month - What you CAN do!

September 27, 2013
Source: U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

October Is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

Held each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

"Because We are EQUAL to the Task,” the theme of the 2013 NDEAM, reflects the reality that people with disabilities have the education, training, experience and desire to be successful in the workplace.

The Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) announces a NDEAM 2013 Resource Toolbox and a NDEAM 2013 Daily Calendar of 31 Things You Can Do in your workplace and your community during the month of October. Ideas range from putting up an NDEAM poster, to reaching out to local media, to educating employees about disability employment issues. ODEP encourages everyone to use these ideas to stimulate new ones that recognize disability employment throughout the year.

NDEAM has been around for nearly 70 years. In 1945, Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month."

Upon its establishment in 2001, the Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope. Over the years, the goals and the true meaning of NDEAM remain the same as is evidenced by the events held by employers, schools, organizations and communities each year.

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