DNMM is participating 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.
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.
"Americans of all abilities must have access to good, safe jobs," said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta."Smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving situations leads to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition and drives innovation." Secretary Acosta went on to announce this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme: "Inclusion Drives Innovation."
Reflecting this year's theme, throughout the month, DNMM will be engaging in a variety of activities promoting community awareness on disability employment issues. These efforts include hosting "Disability Mentoring Day" with several area employers and students, engaging in a social media campaign to highlight disability employment and sharing personal employment stories written by individuals with disabilities.
"We are proud to be a part of this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month," said DNMM Executive Director Steven Locke. "We want to 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 the ODEP website at www.dol.gov/odep.