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President Obama Signs Proclamation for October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month

White House Disability Updates (October 18, 2013)

From Claudia L. Gordon, Public Engagement Advisor to the Disability Community, White House Office of Public Engagement

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

In a Presidential Proclamation issued on September 30, President Obama said:

“Our Nation has always drawn its strength from the differences of our people, from a vast range of thought, experience, and ability. Every day, Americans with disabilities enrich our communities and businesses. They are leaders, entrepreneurs, and innovators, each with unique talents to contribute and points of view to express. During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we nurture our culture of diversity and renew our commitment to building an American workforce that offers inclusion and opportunity for all.”

Recognized in some form since 1945 when Congress designated a week in October as "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." NDEAM is led annually by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), but its true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Employers of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to participate in NDEAM. The 2013 NDEAM theme is “Because We Are Equal to the Task” reflects the reality that people with disabilities have the education, training, experience and desire to be successful in the workplace. 

Click here to read the full 2013 NDEAM Presidential Proclamation. In addition, resources for participation in NDEAM activities and more information are available on the ODEP website.

More than $18.5 million in Disability Employment Initiative grants awarded by US Labor Department to eight states
On September 26, the U.S. Department of Labor announced grants totaling $18,597,758 to eight states to provide education, training and employment opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities. The grants are part of the Disability Employment Initiative, a program jointly funded and administered by the department's Employment and Training Administration and Office of Disability Employment Policy.

"To thrive in the competitive international marketplace, employers need access to a diverse pool of qualified job seekers," said Secretary of Labor Thomas E. Perez. "These federal grants expand that pool and show our commitment to creating career pathways and employment opportunities that result in economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities."

Read more about the grant awarded by the US Labor Dept.