WASHINGTON, DC – In keeping with the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to ensuring an American workforce for Americans of all abilities, this year’s official National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme will be “America’s Workforce: Empowering All,” the Department announced today.
“President Trump’s administration is committed to ensuring that all Americans can access good, family-sustaining jobs. A workforce that empowers everyone is good for job seekers as well as job creators,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Over the past year, the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities has significantly declined. Continued steady job creation will provide even more opportunities for all Americans to get hired and provide for their families.”
Observed each October, NDEAM is a nationwide campaign that celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities throughout American history, and emphasizes the importance of ensuring that all Americans have access to the services and supports to enable 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.
The 2018 theme emerged from discussions with organizations that partner with ODEP, including those representing employers, persons with disabilities and their families, and federal and state government agencies.
NDEAM began in 1945, when 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. Then, 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.
For more information about NDEAM, including specific ideas for how different types of organizations can participate, visit www.dol.gov/ndeam. The Department expects to make the official NDEAM poster available in July.