October is NDEAM, at the Department of Labor – National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which “celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.”
The goal is to educate companies of NDEAM, which dates back to October 1945 when it was originally named National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.
However, the history of government intervention in rehabilitating individuals with disabilities goes back even further than 1945, unsurprisingly, to World War I. The 1917 Smith-Hughes Act, 1918 Soldier’s Rehabilitation Act, and more substantially, the 1920 Smith Fess Act came out of combat related disabilities and an effort to rehabilitate soldiers. However, the Smith Fess Act also provided assistance for non-war related disabilities.
The NDEAM website gives examples of how employers can educate their managers and employees to create a more inclusive workplace by mentoring, advertising their involvement in NDEAM through social media, and many other ways.
Visit the website to discover ideas that you can use in your organization and document as part of your Diversity and Inclusion efforts: https://www.dol.gov/odep/topics/ndeam/index.htm.