Thoughts on National Disability Employment Awareness Month


The words 'incapable' and 'unemployed' on a chalkboard, with 'in' and 'un' crossed out to spell 'capable' and 'employed.'

With October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), I am ready to give my standing ovation to a few groups these next few weeks. I will be providing a few posts during this stretch, and they all will relate to National Disability Employment Awareness Month in some way. I am not trying to take anything away from our friends, Major League Baseball, but as CareerConnect Program Manager here at AFB, this month is like the playoffs for me. (Although, as a Yankees fan, I'm pretty pumped for those playoffs too.)

Over the past two years, I have been following with great interest the efforts being made by the United States Federal Government, and more specifically the Office of Personnel Management (OPM), the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, and President Obama. Oh, I am not getting all political with this message. This all started with an initiative when President Obama signed Executive Order 13548 on July 26, 2010. In 2010 and 2011, I connected with Assistant Secretary of the Department Labor and the Office of Disability Employment Policy for AccessWorld's annual employment-focused issue in October. So, you could say that I have been following this progression pretty closely. I was interested to hear how involved the President was in making sure the federal government became a model employer for hiring persons with disabilities. The goal was to have 200,000 persons with disabilities employed by the federal government.

Well, the Office of Personnel Management announced that 200,000 people with disabilities now work for the federal government, the most in 20 years, and the rate of new hires with disabilities has increased. The process is not finished, but it has seen some success. You can read more about the news announcement and the study that included this information at the U.S. Office of Personnel Management website. I addressed this announcement in this month's AccessWorld. Additionally, I'll also be posting a new "Our Stories" piece on AFB CareerConnect about Clint Eastwood’s portrayal of an aging worker with macular degeneration in the film "Trouble with the Curve," and some new releases from AFB's eLearning Center specific to job accommodations. Look for these posts and others in the coming weeks on the AFB Blog.

Let us know what you are doing to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

"Capable" and "employed" photo courtesy of Shutterstock.

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