At work, it's what people CAN do that matters. That's the simple message behind the Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE), an ODEP-funded outreach effort that showcases supportive, inclusive workplaces for all workers.
The CDE is a collaborative of several leading disability and business organizations convened by ODEP to work together to address disability employment. The outcome of this collaboration is a national outreach initiative titled "What can YOU do?" Framed around messages developed collectively by the CDE's Members, this initiative challenges common misconceptions about disability employment and encourages employers and others to recognize the value and talent that people with disabilities add to America's workplaces and economy.
Central to the What can YOU do? initiative is a series of public service announcements (PSAs) - “Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do?,” "Working Works," "Who I Am," "Because" and "I Can." Each highlights what people with disabilities CAN do when given the opportunity. The CDE has developed outreach materials to complement the PSAs, including posters and discussion guides created for co-workers, youth, health care professionals, and other audiences. Spanish-language versions of selected materials are also available.
"Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do?" — Showcasing the roles we all play in promoting a mental health-friendly workplace
The "Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do?" PSA is the campaign’s latest. It features four cast members including a CEO, a manager, a co-worker and a person who identifies as having a mental health condition, each discussing what they can do to promote workplace wellbeing. Their experiences remind us that we all benefit from flexible, supportive workplaces that promote good mental health.
- View the "Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do?" PSA
- Visit the "Mental Health at Work: What Can I Do?" Toolkit page to meet the cast and order free posters and an educational Workplace Guide
"Working Works" — Supporting workers following illness or injury
Launched in 2018, the “Working Works” PSA explores the many reasons people work, including after injury or illness. It has earned more than $10.8 million in donated media space on television and radio stations nationwide.
The PSA’s four primary cast members include Major League Baseball great Cal Ripken Jr. and three other individuals who worked with their employers and health care providers to make a plan to stay at or return to work following illness or injury. Their stories emphasize the importance of working together on effective stay-at-work/return-to-work strategies—for the benefit of individuals, families, employers, and the nation’s economy.
- View the "Working Works" PSA
- Visit the "Working Works" Toolkit page to meet the cast and for information on how to order free posters and an accessible DVD with discussion guide, available in both English and Spanish (coming soon!)
"Who I Am" — Meet nine people whose disabilities are only one part of who they are
The "Who I Am" PSA debuted at the White House in October 2014 and has aired more than 230,000 times on television stations and cable outlets nationwide. It is available online and for mail order on an accessible talking menu DVD.
"Who I Am" features nine real people with disabilities. Rather than be defined by disability, these individuals are the sum of their many life roles — which includes working in jobs they love. The message of "Who I Am" is to remind us to see one another for who we are and what we can contribute.
- View the "Who I Am" PSA
- Visit the “Who I Am” Toolkit page to meet the cast and for information on how to order free posters and an accessible DVD with discussion guide, available in both English and Spanish
"Because" — Celebrating the power of youth influencers
The "Because" Campaign, which includes the "Because" PSA, posters and discussion guides, was released in January 2013. Since then, it has aired more than 113,000 times on television and cable stations nationwide, at the Indianapolis 500 automobile race, on electronic billboards alongside interstate highways, and many meetings, conferences and presentations. "Because" reflects ODEP's work around youth with disabilities, and the important roles that parents, teachers, coaches, mentors and future employers play in shaping the career aspirations of youth with disabilities. Together, "Because" and "Who I Am" have been ranked in the top 1% of all PSAs as reported by Nielsen Media Research.
- View the "Because" PSA
- Visit the “Because” Toolkit page to meet the cast and for information on how to order free posters and an accessible DVD with discussion guide, available in both English and Spanish
"I Can" — The award-winning 2010 campaign
The CDE’s flagship "I Can" PSA earned more than $25 million in donated ad space on television, cable, and radio stations nationwide and in AMC movie theaters. Released in 2010, "I Can" was the Campaign for Disability Employment's first PSA. It demonstrated what people with disabilities can do at work and urged employers to capitalize on these talents through inclusive employment practices that benefit everyone.
- View the "I Can" PSA
- Visit the “I Can” Toolkit page to meet the cast and for information on how to order free posters and discussion guides
Campaign for Disability Employment Members
The CDE is steered by a group of leading business and disability advocacy organizations. Members include:
- American Association of People with Disabilities
- Employee Assistance Professionals Association (EAPA)
- Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN)
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN)
- National LGBT Chamber of Commerce
- National Organization on Disability
- Society for Human Resource Management
- Special Olympics
- The Viscardi Center