Highlighting & Celebrating Disability-Inclusive Employment

July 26, 2020, marked the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), a landmark piece of civil rights legislation that aims to increase the inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life, including employment.

Using the theme of “Increasing Access and Opportunity,” states and localities can recognize and celebrate the ADA all year long and use it as a platform to elevate the National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) observance in October.

Ways You Can Participate:

Create an ADA or NDEAM proclamation or statement — Release a proclamation or statement recognizing the ADA or NDEAM and reaffirming your state or locality's commitment to create an inclusive workplace culture for job seekers and employees with disabilities. SEED has developed a sample proclamation for you to easily download and sign.

Sign State as a Model Employer executive orders or legislation — Governors and state and local legislators can sign executive orders or pass legislation to examine state or local policies and create task forces that study workforce development for people with disabilities. For examples of policy ideas to include, take a look at the Work Matters report.

Launch or sponsor a state apprenticeship, internship, or fellowship program – Governors and state and local legislators can sign an executive order or pass legislation or resolutions establishing an apprenticeship, internship, or fellowship program within state or local agencies for students with disabilities. State and local officials can also recruit interns with disabilities to their own staff.

Educate staff members — It is critical that offices committed to disability inclusion effectively and regularly communicate and demonstrate that commitment to staff. The 30th anniversary of the ADA offers an opportunity to do this through disability training or informal events, such as brown-bag lunch discussions. Ready-to-use resources, like disability etiquette materials, can assist in facilitating activities.

Feature the ADA and NDEAM in social media activities — Likewise, the ADA anniversary and annual NDEAM celebration provide a timely hook for social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn, and Twitter. For the former, policymakers are encouraged to include the hashtag #ADA30.

Post an ADA or NDEAM weblink — Adding a link to information about the ADA or NDEAM on your website informs constituents and other visitors about information of interest to them, while helping to keep your website dynamic and up to date.

Reach out to local media — The ADA anniversary and NDEAM celebration in October both present an opportunity for policymakers to increase their visibility through local media. Ideas include writing an op-ed piece or letter to the editor about the value and talent people with disabilities have to offer in the workplace and community, or encouraging local TV or radio news to run a feature on local employers observing the anniversary.

Issue an ADA anniversary or NDEAM press release — Governors and state and local legislators can also announce their involvement in celebrating the ADA and NDEAM by issuing a press release to local media and distributing it through email lists.