Workers with disabilities represent a diverse and vibrant talent pool for hire.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) selected “Talent Has No Boundaries: Workforce Diversity Includes Workers With Disabilities” as the official theme for October’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This theme serves to inform the public that workers with disabilities represent a diverse and vibrant talent pool for hire. Communities nationwide have planned special events, some of which will continue all year, such as proclamations, public awareness programs, and job fairs showcasing the skills and talents of workers with disabilities.
This year’s theme epitomizes Secretary of Labor Hilda L. Solis’s commitment to good jobs for everyone.
“The solutions and innovations applicable to the successful employment of workers with disabilities impact the entire work force, including aging workers, injured workers, at-risk youth, women, people of color, and unemployed and underemployed workers,” says Kathleen Martinez, assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy.
Public Law 176, enacted by Congress in 1945, designated the first week in October each year as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” President Harry Truman charged the President’s Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities to carry out the act. In 1962, the word “physically” was removed from the week’s name to acknowledge the employment needs of all Americans with disabilities.
Congress expanded the week to a month in 1988 and changed its name to “National Disability Awareness Month,” which eventually evolved to its current name. ODEP took over responsibility for NDEAM in 2001.