- Matthew Ivan
DNMM Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Today, Disability Network of Mid-Michigan announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion"
The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces 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.
“Our national recovery from the pandemic cannot be completed without the inclusion of all Americans, in particular people with disabilities,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Their contributions have historically been vital to our nation’s success, and are more important today than ever. We must build an economy that fully includes the talent and drive of those with disabilities.”
Reflecting this year's theme, throughout the month, DNMM will be showcasing employment success stories on behalf of the individuals they serve and they will be providing information on how area businesses can foster a disability-friendly workplace.
"People with disabilities are experienced problem solvers with a proven ability to adapt," said DNMM Executive Director Kelly PeLong. " As we emerge from the pandemic, flexibility remains important for both workers and employers. National Disability Employment Awareness Month celebrates the ingenuity people with disabilities bring to America’s workplaces. As we celebrate NDEAM and as we continue down the road to recovery, DNMM will spread the important message that a strong workforce is one inclusive of the skills and talents of all individuals, including individuals with disabilities. ”
Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting www.dol.gov/NDEAM.