Observed in October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a nationwide campaign celebrating the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year marks not only the 75th observance of NDEAM, but also the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). This year’s theme is: “Increasing Access and Opportunity.”
NDEAM’s history dates back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October each year as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, the federal legislature expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
“National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national initiative designed to increase the employment of people with disabilities,” said Christina Lyon, Allegany Arc’s Vice President of Vocational Services. “Every day, people with disabilities can and do add value to America’s workplaces. The NDEAM campaign’s goal is to drive positive change through the hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities in America’s workforce and by illustrating that at work, it’s what people can do that matters.”
“There are a variety of potential financial incentives that a business may utilize when they employ people with disabilities such as the Federal Work Opportunity Tax Credit, NYS Workers with Disabilities Employment Tax Credit, Work Try-Out, On-The-Job Training, Job Coach Services, Architectural/Transportation Tax Deduction and Small Business Tax Credit,” said Lyon. “With a tight job market, one in which skilled, dedicated workers are hard to find, it is important to look everywhere for talent. Recruiting should extend to nontraditional sources, including individuals with physical, mental, and communication disabilities. If you are interested in diversifying your business, please contact me at (585) 593-3005 ext. 227.”
Learn how Allegany Arc’s ACHIEVE Career Consultants provide multiple avenues for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to prepare for and become successful members of the workforce community through avenues such as community and vocational assessments, school to work programs, job placement, supported employment and on-site simulated job training experiences by visiting the Allegany ARC’s ACHIEVE Career Consultants.