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Disability Employment Awareness Month

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.

About This Year's Theme

Reflecting the important role that different perspectives play in workforce success, this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme for 2017 is "Inclusion Drives Innovation."

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2017 poster

For additional details visit the Office of Disability Employment Policy Website.

Executive and Legislative Documents

Signed into law by Pres. George H.W. Bush, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a wide-ranging civil rights law that prohibits, under certain circumstances, discrimination based on disability.

Full text of the law

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.

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