Every year in October, the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy raises awareness about disability employment issues. This campaign celebrates disabled employees nationwide. NDEAM is held each year to commemorate the countless and various contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplace and economy.
From July 2020 to July 2021 within the working-age population (16-64), the percentage of PWDs in the employment-population ratio jumped from 29.1% to 30.8%. Twenty percent of people with disabilities are participating in the workforce, compared to 69.1% of those without disabilities. For reference, please see the Department of Labor’s data on persons with disability and employment - Disability Employment Statistics | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov).
This year’s theme “Powered by Inclusion” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
One of the most important steps as an employer to establish full involvement is an interactive method to ensure that any reasonable accommodation inquiries could be met. Reasonable accommodations in the workplace, in compliance with Title l of the ADA, is any modification or adjustment to a job, an employment practice, or the work environment that makes it possible for an individual with a disability to enjoy an equal employment opportunity.
What can you do as an employer to celebrate NDEAM? Ideas for Employers and Employees | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)
Office of Disability Employment Policy offers a slew of resources to help employers and organizations plan out the month for NDEAM observances: Resources | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)
If you’d like to be ambitious, you could plan out the whole month with the help of ODEP - 31 Days of NDEAM: 31 Days of NDEAM | U.S. Department of Labor (dol.gov)
As always, if you have questions or need advice about your rights and responsibilities as an employer, reach out to Rocky Mountain ADA Center or your local regional office!