National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), a nationwide campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the diverse contributions of America’s workers with disabilities, will be observed in October. Its official theme for 2015 is “My Disability Is One Part of Who I Am.”
During NDEAM, amputees have the opportunity to help raise awareness about people with disabilities and their willingness and ability to participate successfully in the workforce. It is also an opportunity to collaborate on awareness activities with the greater disability community and develop beneficial relationships for the future.
“This year’s theme encapsulates the important message that people with disabilities are just that-people,” said Jennifer Sheehy, acting assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. “And like all people, we are the sum of many parts, including our work experiences. Disability is an important perspective we bring to the table, but, of course, it’s not the only one.”
The 2015 theme echoes the Campaign for Disability Employment’s “Who I Am” television public service announcement. This announcement features nine diverse people with disabilities-some obvious and some not-sharing the many ways they describe themselves, from personal interests to family relationships to occupations. Among them is actor RJ Mitte, known for his work on AMC’s television series Breaking Bad.
NDEAM dates back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” The word “physically” was deleted in 1962 to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities. The week was expanded to a month by Congress in 1988 and its name was also changed to NDEAM.
For more information, including specific ideas for participating, visit www.dol.gov/odep and select “National Disability Employment Awareness Month” from the drop-down menu. To view the “Who I Am” PSA, visit www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org.