National Disability Employment Awareness Month

In October, Americans observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month by paying tribute to the accomplishments of the men and women with disabilities whose work helps keep the nation's economy strong and by reaffirming their commitment to ensure equal opportunity for all citizens.

This effort to educate the public about the issues related to disability and employment began in 1945, when Congress enacted Public Law 176, declaring the first week of October each year as 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. Some 25 years later, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

Executive and Legislative Documents

The Law Library of Congress has compiled guides to commemorative observations, including a comprehensive inventory of the Public Laws, Presidential Proclamations and congressional resolutions related to Disability Employment Awareness Month.

About This Year's Theme

About This Year's Theme
“Expect. Employ. Empower.”
This year's NDEAM theme is the outcome of a highly collaborative process. The department's Office of Disability Employment Policy began by holding a national online dialogue in which members of the public were invited to submit ideas. Facilitated through ODEP's ePolicyWorks external link icon initiative using crowdsourcing technology, this dialogue attracted 350 registrants who together submitted 126 different theme ideas. In addition to contributing their own ideas, registrants could comment and vote on those submitted by others. ODEP then narrowed the list of contenders in collaboration with members of the Campaign for Disability Employment external link icon at their quarterly meeting April 9, which was held at Special Olympics headquarters in Washington, D.C.

Quoted from