National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is celebrated every October and is dedicated to bringing awareness to disability employment issues and inclusive policies and practices to ensure that all Americans who want to work, can work and have access to services and supports that enable them to do so. NDEAM also celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities, both past and present.
The theme for NDEAM 2019 is “The Right Talent, Right Now”, which emphasizes the role that people with disabilities play in America’s economic success. NDEAM’s roots go back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” Seventeen years later, in 1962, the use of the word “physically” ceased in order to include 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. In 2001, the Department established Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and it took responsibility for NDEAM.