National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign held in October that raises awareness about employment issues for disabled people, and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities.
NDEAM’s roots go 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.”
The Presidential Proclamation of 2015 states: “America is at its strongest when we harness the talents and celebrate the distinct gifts of all our people. This October, as we observe the 70th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, let us pay tribute to all who fought for better laws, demanded better treatment, and overcame ignorance and indifference to make our Nation more perfect. In their honor, and for the betterment of generations of Americans to come, let us continue the work of removing obstacles to employment so every American has the chance to develop their skills and make their unique mark on the world we share.”
During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the National Consortium on Racial and Ethnic Fairness in the Courts recognizes the indispensable contributions people with disabilities have made and will continue to make in our economy, and we salute their efforts. Employment opportunities and legal rights should be made available to all people, regardless of disability, race, creed, color, national origin or gender.