The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) within the Department of Labor has announced that “Inclusion Drives Innovation” will be the theme for 2017’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which is held annually in October. 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. NDEAM’s roots go back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “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, ODEP assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope ever since.
In addition to announcing this year’s theme, ODEP has posted the following resources to be used to take action during NDEAM: