National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Disability is and always has been part of the diversity of our nation, and, by extension, our workforce. Observed annually in October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices.

This year’s theme is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation,” which celebrates the essential role individuals with disabilities play in the workplace. It also honors the significant diversity within the disabled community.

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For a brief history on NDEAM, it started back in 1945, when the effort to educate the public about the issues related to disability and employment began. Congress enacted Public Law 176, declaring the first week of October as 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.  

About 25 years later, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Today, the U.S. Department of Labor is deeply dedicated to ensuring all workers, including workers with disabilities, have equal opportunity to gain skills in inclusive and supportive workplaces.

As Executive Sponsor of the ADAPT Resource Group, causes like this and the ongoing endeavor of providing all disabled individuals with equal opportunities to work and thrive is very important to me. I am now proudly serving on three boards, all supporting individuals with developmental and intellectual disabilities. I encourage you to learn more about them below:

  • Pride Ventures –
    • Provides job training and transitional employment experience to individuals with developmental disabilities who could not independently succeed in a traditional work environment.
  • Special Olympics New Jersey –
    • Provides year-round sports training and athletic competition in a variety of Olympic-type sports for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, experience joy and participate in a sharing of gifts, skills and friendship with their families, other Special Olympics athletes and the community.
  • Kingsway Learning Center–
    • Provides an alternative educational environment designed specifically for the academic, therapeutic, social, and emotional development of students with multiple disabilities.

We recently had our annual Pride Ventures fundraiser on September 23rd at the Phillies game, which was a great event! Check out our flyer:

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For anyone who is interested in learning more on how they can support and celebrate NDEAM and the disabled community, check out this article from the American Bar Association. Thanks for taking the time to read and learn about this special month.



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