It’s October, and that means that we are celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a time to appreciate the disabled members of our workforce and a time to think about how we can further improve the employment opportunities of Americans with disabilities.
2016 Theme: #InclusionWorks
Each year, the United States Department of Labor has a different theme for National Disability Employment Awareness Month. In 2016, the theme is #InclusionWorks. This theme was decided upon after hearing the opinions of people with disabilities, their families, employers, and government organizations.
The Department of Labor’s deputy assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, Jennifer Sheehy, had this to say about #InclusionWorks, “By fostering a culture that embraces individual differences, including disabilities, businesses profit by having a wider variety of tools to confront challenges. Our nation’s most successful companies proudly make inclusion a core value. They know that inclusion works. It works for workers, it works for employers, it works for opportunity, and it works for innovation.”
The federal government has held a NDEAM since 1988, though its origins go back to 1945 when the first week of October was known as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.”
What Can You Do to Observe NDEAM in Your Own Life?
As a business owner, you can consider how to make your workforce more inclusive and diverse when it comes to workers with disabilities. As an able-bodied worker, you can think about how you can improve the work environment for your co-workers with disabilities. As a worker with disabilities, you can celebrate your achievements and be proud of the contributions that you have made to the workforce!
Of course, we realize that not all disabled Americans are well enough to work or to earn enough to support themselves and their families. If you require the assistance of a disability attorney or if you need help with your Social Security disability benefits claim,contact us today to speak with a lawyer in a supportive, confidential environment.
by Paul B. Burkhalter Managing Partner of Morgan & Weisbrod, Board Certified in Social Security Disability Law.