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Happy 70th to National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

When it comes to disability inclusion, 2015 has been a banner year, with July marking the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). But the year's not over yet.  National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is right around the corner. And this year marks 70 years since NDEAM's first observance, so there's even greater reason to celebrate.

Held every October, NDEAM is always a fitting time for employers of all sizes to demonstrate their commitment to disability inclusion in the workplace. And this year's NDEAM theme, "My Disability is One Part of Who I Am," encapsulates an important message that emphasizes the value of doing so — that people with disabilities, like all people, are the sum of many parts, including their work experiences.

Every year, NDEAM's true spirit lies in celebratory events and activities occurring in communities and organizations across the nation. As always, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) offers a range of free resources to help organizations take part, from posters, videos, and discussion guides to sample articles and proclamations. And as part of its celebration of ADA25, ODEP also assembled a collection of worker stories illustrating the spirit of NDEAM and the importance of the ADA in increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

So if your business has not yet celebrated NDEAM, make this the year you start. You can leverage ODEP's employer idea list and sample materials to publish an article, create a poster display, train your employees on disability awareness or feature NDEAM in your social media activities. There are endless ways to participate, and ODEP gives you the tools to do so. No matter how you participate, one thing is certain — this October, and all year long, recognizing the diverse contributions of America's workers with disabilities makes a perfect anniversary gift.

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