ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy
Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic
National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Ideas for Federal Agencies
Given the Federal government's commitment through Executive Order 13548 to become a model employer of people with disabilities, Federal agencies are highly encouraged to take part in National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The ideas below are just a few ways they can do so, in addition to the general ideas for employers and employees.
- Join eFedLink NDEAM is a great time to get involved in eFedLink, an online community of practice for Federal disability employment professionals and others interested in advancing the representation of individuals with disabilities within the Federal workforce. It allows for real-time discussion of relevant issues and sharing of best practices through document uploading and sharing, resource links, collaborative planning and media hosting. Employees can join by going to eFedLink.org and selecting "Register Here."
- Access the WRP The Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) connects Federal and private sector employers to qualified and pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities. Coordinated by ODEP and the U.S. Department of Defense, it runs year round, with the database of participants updated each December. During NDEAM, Federal agencies can access the WRP to fill permanent jobs or plan to use it to fill summer and permanent positions for the coming year. More than 20 Federal agencies already take advantage of the WRP; make sure yours is one of them!
- Use the Shared List of People with Disabilities The Office of Personnel Management's Shared List of People with Disabilities is a free resource for finding candidates with disabilities who are eligible to be hired through the Schedule A hiring appointment. The list is available through the MAX Federal Community. If your agency isn't already taking advantage of it, NDEAM presents an opportune time to start.
- Provide Federal-specific training As with all employers, Federal agencies can use NDEAM to provide training to all employees, making use of ready-to-use resources such as disability etiquette materials and the "I Can" public service announcement and accompanying workplace discussion guide. But NDEAM is also a natural time to offer refresher training for disability program managers, hiring managers, supervisors, EEO representatives, selective placement coordinators. One easy way to do so is to use the Job Accommodation Network's (JAN) Federal Employer Webcast Series, which originally aired in early 2012.
- Start a mentoring program Like all employers, Federal agencies can participate in Disability Mentoring Day, which takes place the third Wednesday of each October. But Federal agencies may also consider using NDEAM to launch a longer-term mentoring program. A Federal Workplace Mentoring Primer is available to assist in learning the basics of workplace mentoring and how to apply them in the federal government. This guide includes information, considerations and strategies to promote workplace diversity and inclusion.
- Register for the Perspectives Conference The annual Perspectives on Employment of Persons with Disabilities training conference offers Federal employees the opportunity to learn more about important topics such as Section 508 compliance, the Schedule A Hiring Authority and strategic planning around disability and employment. It takes place in December, but registration begins several months prior, so let NDEAM serve as a reminder!
- Feature NDEAM in social media activities NDEAM provides an interesting hook for social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. For the latter, agencies are encouraged to include the hashtag #NDEAM. Sample postings and tweets are available to assist in incorporating NDEAM into social media activities.