News Release

US Department of Labor announces ‘America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion’ is 2021 National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme

WASHINGTON, DC The U.S. Department of Labor has announced the theme for 2021 National Disability Employment Awareness Month is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.” Held each October, the annual commemoration raises awareness about disability employment issues, and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

Selected by the department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, the theme’s annual spring announcement helps the nation’s employers, disability advocates and other organizations plan their observances. As ODEP celebrates its 20th anniversary in 2021, it encourages all types of employers and community organizations, advocacy groups and schools to participate.

“Our national recovery from the pandemic cannot be completed without the inclusion of all Americans, in particular people with disabilities,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh. “Their contributions have historically been vital to our nation’s success, and are more important today than ever. We must build an economy that fully includes the talent and drive of those with disabilities.”

“America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion” is a theme that reflects our commitment to an inclusive recovery, one in which those of us with disabilities have full access to economic opportunity and – if needed – the accommodations and supports that allow us to contribute our skills and talents,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy.

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month can be traced back to 1945 when Congress declared the first week of October to be “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” “Physically” was dropped in 1962 to include people with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress made the commemoration a month-long event.  

Learn more about ODEP and read about how your organization can participate.  

Office of Disability Employment Policy
May 13, 2021
Release Number
Media Contact: Bennett Gamble
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