Three Reasons to Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The National Disability Employment Awareness Month observance has been celebrating inclusion for more than 70 years. October is set aside as the month to recognize and celebrate.

More than an idea to simply observe an idea for a month, NDEAM is a celebration. The Americans with Disabilities Act is an integral part of the celebration and its history is well worth an annual review.

It started with the Smith-Fess Act, also known as the Civilian Vocational Rehabilitation Act, in mid 1920. This act empowered severely injured WWII veterans to re-enter the workforce once separated from active duty. In 1935 activists were drawing attention to the thousands of American citizens with physical disabilities not associated with war and the need for employment opportunities. Read between the dates here, but fast forward to 1954 vocational rehabilitation gets more attention, propelling the country in a direction that has given us reason to celebrate.

What do we celebrate?

ADA 200X200We celebrate the lawmakers who have worked hard, and continued to work hard to ensure that people with disabilities are empowered to take their productive places in society. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the most familiar and became law in 1990. It prohibits discrimination against individuals with disabilities and levels the playing field for all workers. The Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), enacted in July 2014, is “designed to help job seekers access employment, education, training and support services to succeed in the labor market and to match employers with the skilled workers they need to compete in the global economy.” Section 508 of The Rehabilitation Act of 1973 applies to Federal Government agencies and requires access to all information and communications technology to workers with disabilities that match the accessibility of workers without disabilities.  

Purina Ability Inclusion

We celebrate the organizations that recognize the skills and potential of those with disabilities to contribute to growth and success. These are organizations that make inclusion a top priority. To highlight just a couple we’ll start in St. Louis with Starkloff Disability Institute and its partnership with Nestle Purina. Check out this video highlighting the Institute and the DREAM BIG SUMMER CAREER CAMP and the impact it is having on the organization and the community.

CVS Health was recognized as a ‘Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion’ according to a PR Newswire release dated July 9, 2018. CVS is known for its commitment to helping people get and stay healthy, and for the second year, it is known for its commitment to fostering a diverse and inclusive workplace.

AmericaNeedsAllOfUs_FB PostyWe celebrate those with disabilities that have stepped up and brought their A-Game to the workplace and significantly contributed to making our nation great. This talent pool is full of workers focusing on their abilities more than their disabilities. Because legislation and organizational culture are changing, obstacles are being overcome and businesses communities are thriving.  



How will you celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month?

The US Department of Labor encourages organizations to participate in NDEAM and offers free resources to help. This year’s theme is America’s Workforce: Empowering All.

For Employers and employees. Train and educate supervisors and employees reinforcing the commitment to diversity and inclusion. Make this commitment part of the cultural fabric of the organization. Partner with organizations specializing in placing and retaining talent. It is the right thing to do.

For Recruiters. Make connections with workers with disabilities and companies with cultures supporting and encouraging inclusion. Train organizational clients on the value this pool of talent can bring to the table. Hold job fairs specifically promoting workplace relationships between committed companies and job seekers.

Everyone else. When possible do business with companies that are committed to inclusion. Thank business owners for employing disabled workers and treat workers the same as anyone else you encounter.

Diversity and inclusion are not new concepts. They are, however,  becoming buzzwords in today’s business culture. For organizations committed to making diversity and inclusion a priority the month of October is a great time to celebrate. Is your organization committed to disability employment awareness? We celebrate you!

Are you ready to take your commitment to diversity and inclusion in your business to the next level? Let us know how Chemistry PR & Multimedia can help you share your story with the nation.

Chris HeadshotChris Kuban
Chris Kuban started Chemistry PR and Multimedia with a vision to effectively formulate corporate and non-profit brands across the country. In doing so, he has become an expert in Media Relations, Event Management, Social Media implementation and video production.  He engages, coordinates and oversees a diverse team of local and national
suppliers, vendors, employees and consultants, allowing him to successfully coordinate over 120 national events focusing on overall logistics, media relations and his clients’ expected ROI. Follow him on Twitter or connect with him on LinkedIn.