October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Department of Labor NDEAM Poster. America’s Workforce: Empowering All. Four people are gathered around laptop computers at the end of a conference room desk. One man is using a powered wheelchair.NDEAM 2018
"America’s Workforce: Empowering All"

Department of Services for the Blind Joins Broad Effort to Observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Nationwide campaign will take place in October

See "DSB in the Community" for more details

(Seattle, WA) October 1, 2018 — The Department of Services for the Blind (DSB) announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities. This year's theme is "America’s Workforce: Empowering All"

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

"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."

Reflecting this year's theme, throughout the month, DSB will be engaging in a variety of activities to educate the community on disability employment issues and its commitment to an inclusive work culture. These efforts include promoting NDEAM proclamations from the State of Washington and the cities of Lacey, Seattle, Spokane, Tacoma, Vancouver, and Yakima.

DSB will also be providing information on the programs and services available to help individuals with blindness and visual impairment gain the skills to succeed in the workplace at community events across the state, including:

  • Building Bridges
  • Yakima Valley Community College Disability Awareness Resource Fairs
  • Veterans Affairs Disability Awareness Conference and Resource Fair
  • Foundation Fighting Blindness Vision Walk
  • National Federation of the Blind of Washington Convention
  • Washington Council of the Blind Convention

"DSB is proud to be a part of this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month," said DSB Director Lou Oma Durand "We want to spread the important message that individuals with disabilities are ready and able to fully participate in the workforce."

Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting the Washington State Department of Services for the Blind at www.dsb.wa.gov or the U.S. Department of Labor at www.dol.gov/ndeam.  See "DSB in the Community" for more details.