Given the federal government's commitment to becoming 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 FEED — NDEAM is a great time to get involved in Federal Exchange on Employment & Disability, an interagency working group focused on information sharing, best practices, and collaborative partnerships designed to make the federal government a model employer of people with disabilities. Membership is open to federal employees at any level whose job duties involve the inclusion of people with disabilities, including recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement.
- Access the Workforce Recruitment Program — 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!
- 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, Equal Employment Opportunity representatives, selective placement coordinators.
- Start a mentoring program — Like all employers, federal agencies can participate in Disability Mentoring Day, which takes place the third Wednesday of October. But federal agencies may also consider using NDEAM to launch a longer-term mentoring program.
- 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.