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NDEAM 2017 Theme Is Inclusion Drives Innovation
To reflect the important role disability plays in workforce diversity, the theme of 2017’s official National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is Inclusion Drives Innovation.
“Americans of all abilities must have access to good, safe jobs,” says U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving situations leads to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition and drives innovation.”
Led nationally by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), this year’s theme was created with input from a wide variety of ODEP’s partner organizations, including those representing employers, people with disabilities and their families, and federal, state and local agencies.
According to ODEP, NDEAM’s true spirit lies in the many grassroots observances held nationwide every year. Each spring, the theme for each year’s celebration is announced to help organizations and groups plan their events. And every October, NDEAM celebrates individuals with disabilities, and their contributions and achievements to the American workforce.
This year is no different, with NDEAM’s history dating back more than 70 years to 1945. That’s 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 NDEAM. When the department established ODEP in 2001, the agency assumed responsibility for NDEAM and began formally selecting each year’s themes.
For more information about NDEAM, including specific ideas for how different types of organizations can participate, visit dol.gov/ndeam.
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