Observed each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities past and present and showcases supportive, inclusive employment policies and practices that benefit employers and employees. ODEP has chosen “Advancing Access and Equity” as the theme for NDEAM 2023
Each year, the agency chooses an NDEAM theme for use by organizations around the nation to recognize the importance of ensuring people with disabilities have equal opportunity to prepare for and succeed in employment.
Similarly, ODEP will use “Advancing Access and Equity: Then, Now and Next” to celebrate the passage of the Rehabilitation Act a half-century ago and its importance in prohibiting discrimination based on disability in employment by federal agencies, federal contractors, and recipients of federal funds, and in the delivery of federally funded programs and activities. ODEP will use the theme to promote activities to mark passage of the act, the first federal legislation to address access and equity for people with disabilities.
“National Disability Employment Awareness Month reminds us of the valued contributions people with disabilities make in our nation’s workplaces, and the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973 marks a major milestone in our nation’s ongoing quest to advance access and equity for all Americans,” said Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams. “So, from now through October, we will be exploring the act’s impact on everything from employment to community living to non-discrimination to accessible technology.”
The Rehabilitation Act laid the foundation upon which the more comprehensive Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 now stands. These laws continue to be vital tools used to advance access and equity for workers from historically underserved communities and meet the goals in the department’s Equity Action Plan.