Celebrating NDEAM – A Call to Action for Everyone
October is a significant month, one that offers a unique opportunity to foster a more inclusive workforce. National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a time to celebrate the contributions of individuals with disabilities and promote a more inclusive work environment. This month, employers, educators, policymakers, associations, disability-related organizations, and federal agencies can all play a crucial role in creating a more inclusive workplace. Here’s how each of these stakeholders can get involved:
- Feature NDEAM in your Workplace: Decorate your workplace with NDEAM posters and banners. Use this month to demonstrate your commitment to a diverse and inclusive workforce.
- Hold Training and Educational Sessions: Organize disability etiquette training sessions and discussions to educate your employees about the value of diversity and inclusion.
- Implement Disability Mentorship Programs: Promote career development for youth with disabilities by establishing mentoring programs within your organization.
- Participate in Disability Mentoring Day: Open your doors to youth with disabilities and provide them with hands-on experiences in the workforce.
- Promote NDEAM in Schools: Incorporate NDEAM themes into your curriculum to educate students about disability employment and the benefits of an inclusive workforce.
- Engage Student Leaders: Encourage student councils and student-led publications to explore NDEAM in their content, highlighting the contributions of people with disabilities.
- Host Disability Employment Seminars: Organize educational events to introduce students to disability employment issues and create awareness.
- Take Your Legislator to Work Day: Experience the power of community-integrated employment by shadowing employees with disabilities.
- Legislative Disability Awareness Day: Establish an annual event to explore bills that will improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities.
- Sign ‘State as a Model Employer’ Executive Orders: Commit to making state policies more inclusive for people with disabilities.
- Issue NDEAM Proclamations: Encourage mayors, governors, and officials to formally proclaim their support for NDEAM.
- Feature NDEAM in Newsletters: Include articles and content about NDEAM in your association publications to inform members about its purpose.
- Host NDEAM Events: Sponsor seminars, workshops, and brown-bag lunches to engage your members in discussions about disability employment.
- Distribute NDEAM Posters: Send NDEAM posters to your members and encourage them to display them in their workplaces.
5. Disability-Related Organizations:
- Advocate for Community-Wide Support: Request mayors, governors, and officials to proclaim NDEAM and mention it during public appearances.
- Conduct Poster Contests for Youth: Organize poster contests for local youth, celebrating NDEAM themes.
- Reach Out to Local Media: Increase visibility through local TV, radio, and print media by writing op-eds and features on the value of disability inclusion.
6. Federal Agencies:
- Join FEED: Participate in the Federal Exchange on Employment & Disability (FEED) to make the federal government a model employer.
- Access the Workforce Recruitment Program: Connect with qualified students and recent graduates with disabilities through the Workforce Recruitment Program.
- Provide Federal-Specific Training: Use NDEAM to offer training to all employees and disability program managers.
- Start a Mentoring Program: Launch longer-term mentoring programs and participate in Disability Mentoring Day.
Let’s make this NDEAM a memorable one. By joining forces, we can raise awareness, foster inclusive workplaces, and celebrate the incredible contributions of individuals with disabilities. Your involvement, no matter how small, can make a significant impact. Let’s make October a month of empowerment and progress for all.