Presidential Proclamation Marks National Disability Employment Awareness Month’s 75th Annual Commemoration for ‘Increasing Access and Opportunity’
WASHINGTON, DC – President Donald J. Trump has issued a proclamation commemorating October 2020 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and encouraging workplaces and communities across the nation to honor the occasion through a variety of events and activities.
The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) leads NDEAM’s national commemoration and selects its annual theme to help organizations nationwide as they plan their observances. This year, ODEP has chosen “Increasing Access and Opportunity” as NDEAM’s theme and planned activities to coincide with the Department’s celebration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“This month, we recognize the talent and skill of Americans with disabilities. Their resolve and determination strengthen our country and inspire us all," declared President Donald J. Trump in his NDEAM proclamation. “Together, we will continue to advance and promote an inclusive workforce in which everyone can provide for themselves and their families, achieve the American Dream, and enjoy the prosperity of our great Nation.”
“Americans with disabilities bring tremendous value to the workforce, and National Disability Employment Awareness Month is an opportunity for the nation to recognize and honor the contributions they make,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “This year we also celebrate the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, an important milestone in our effort to increase access and opportunity for all Americans.”
“In the 30 years since its passage, an entire generation has lived and grown under the Americans with Disabilities Act. Their entry to the workforce has also coincided with dramatic changes in the way we access and perform work across occupations and industries,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of the Office of Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy. “In many cases, their perspectives have spurred innovative thinking and led to new technologies and products that enhance everyone’s lives. During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we celebrate the value disability inclusion adds to our nation’s workforce.”
NDEAM marks its 75th anniversary this year. Originating in 1945, Congress declared the first week of October as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week,” with the word “physically” removed in 1962 to acknowledge individuals’ needs and contributions with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed its name to NDEAM.
Employers of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to participate in NDEAM, as are educators and youth service professionals, business associations, labor unions and disability advocacy organizations. Ideas for how different types of organizations can observe NDEAM, as well as this year’s official poster, are available at dol.gov/ndeam.
The mission of the Department of Labor is to foster, promote and develop the welfare of the wage earners, job seekers and retirees of the United States; improve working conditions; advance opportunities for profitable employment; and assure work-related benefits and rights.