“Workplaces welcoming of the talents of all people, including people with disabilities, are a critical part of our efforts to build an inclusive community and strong economy…” – Proclamation recognizing and commemorating the 77th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This year’s theme is “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation,” recognizing the crucial role people with disabilities play in a truly inclusive and diverse American workforce. Held annually, NDEAM is led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), but organizations of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to participate. It’s the perfect time to educate about the value of an inclusive workplace while highlighting the barriers individuals from underrepresented groups often face.

A black chalkboard background overlaid with mathematical equations. In the center of the poster, on a diagonal, is a black rectangle bordered by small teal, yellow and red rectangles. It features the 2022 NDEAM theme, “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation,” along with an equation composed of several graphics: a circular photo of a woman in a wheelchair working at a computer with colleagues, followed by a plus sign, followed by a square image of a woman who uses crutches viewing a document with a colleague, followed by an equal sign, followed by a light bulb icon. Across the top of the rectangle in small, white letters are the words National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Along the bottom in small white letters is the hashtag “NDEAM” followed by ODEP’s website address, dol.gov/ODEP. In the lower right corner in white lettering is the DOL seal followed by the words “Office of Disability Employment Policy United States Department of Labor.”

Explore ODEP’s NDEAM resources aimed at building a more equitable and inclusive workforce where all people are recognized for their abilities. Download and share the official NDEAM 2022 poster, available in both English and Spanish. Access the NDEAM Social Media Kit, which includes graphics, sample posts and tips on accessibility to help spread the word online. Make each day of the month count with ideas for the 31 Days of NDEAM, including educating about disability history, fostering inclusive internship programs and proactively recruiting people with disabilities.

“Our national recovery from the pandemic cannot be completed without the inclusion of all Americans, in particular people with disabilities.” – Secretary of Labor, Marty Walsh

National Disability Institute (NDI) is committed NDEAM’s goal of highlighting supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices and the intentional inclusion of underrepresented groups, with a particular focus on Black, Indigenous and Latinx individuals with disabilities. A society in which all people with disabilities have the same access to employment and achieving financial stability and independence as people without, requires that we continue to be inclusive of race, ethnicity and disability in our research, programs, leadership, partnerships and policy development.

NDEAM activities should not end in October. Consider implementing Year-Round Employer Strategies for Advancing Disability Inclusion. Whether you are an employer, workforce professional and/or advocate, you can play an important part in fostering a more equitable and inclusive workforce every day of every month.

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