The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy announced that “Inclusion Drives Innovation” will be the theme of National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October 2017.
“Americans of all abilities must have access to good, safe jobs,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving situations leads to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition, and drives innovation.”
Every October, NDEAM celebrates individuals with disabilities and their contributions and achievements to the American workforce.
ODEP created this year’s theme with input from a wide variety of its partner organizations, including those representing employers, people with disabilities and their families, and federal, state, and local agencies.
In 1945, Congress declared the first week of October as ‘National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.’ In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to NDEAM. In 2001, ODEP was established and formally began selecting the NDEAM theme.
ABILITY Magazine past interview with Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary