Commemorating the various contributions of American workers with disabilities, this years National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) celebration kicked off on October 1st. Held annually in October, this year’s “America’s Workforce: Empowering All” theme was chosen by a collection of organizations representing employers, persons with disabilities and their families, as well as federal and state government agencies.
NDEAM is a nationwide campaign acknowledging the contributions of workers with disabilities throughout American history, emphasizing the importance of ensuring that all Americans have access to the services and support enabling them to work. Although led at the national level by the Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the true spirit of NDEAM lies in the many observances held across the nation every year. The Department announces the annual theme early to facilitate planning of events, and encourages organizations of all sizes and in all industries to participate in NDEAM.
NDEAM began in 1945 after Congress declared the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to NDEAM. ODEP assumed responsibility for NDEAM when the Agency was established in 2001. “It is important that we empowers everyone who is seeking employment to find a job,” said NorthPointe VP of Day Programs Kristen Hudrick, “it’s a win/win for the job seekers as well as the employers.”
If you would like more information on fostering a more inclusive workforce by supporting NDEAM, visit: www.dol.gov/ndeam.
Established in 1953, NorthPointe Resources is a premier provider of a full range of award-winning programs for people with disabilities and/or mental illness living in northern Illinois, supporting approximately 500 people annually. To learn more please visit www.northpointeresources.org.