Marc Whitehead & Associates wants everyone to know that October 2019 is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
The U.S. Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has once again declared October as NDEAM, a time to celebrate the contributions of American workers with disabilities and the essential role they play in America’s economic success, as well as build awareness of the benefits that businesses realize when they are open and accommodating to employees with disabilities. You can learn more about NDEAM here.
“Every day, individuals with disabilities add significant value and talent to our workforce and economy,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta. “Individuals with disabilities offer employers diverse perspectives on how to tackle challenges and achieve success. Individuals with disabilities have the right talent, right now.”
Each NDEAM has a different theme. This year’s theme is “The Right Talent, Right Now.”
The History of National Disability Employment Awareness Month
NDEAM traces its beginnings all the way back to 1945, when the United States Congress enacted Public Law 176, which declared the first week of every October as “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, they dropped the word “physically” in order to include individuals with all types of disabilities. Twenty six years later, in 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” or NDEAM.
ODEP recently created the Disability Employment Initiative (DEI) which aims to improve education, training and employment opportunities and outcomes for youth and adults with disabilities who are unemployed, underemployed and/or receiving Social Security disability benefits.
There are around 53 million people with disabilities in the U.S. According to the latest figures (2018) from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the employment-population ratio — the proportion of the population that is employed — was 19.1 percent among those with a disability. This was an increase from 18.7 percent in 2017. Employed persons with a disability were more likely to be self-employed than those with no disability.
Unfortunately, the unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 8.0 percent in 2018, more than twice the rate of those with no disability (3.7 percent). However, the unemployment rates for both persons with and without a disability were lower in 2018 than in the prior year.
Marc Whitehead & Associates Salute Disabled Workers and Support Disability Inclusive Workplaces
The disability benefits attorneys at Marc Whitehead & Associates believe every American who wants to work should be able to do so. We wholeheartedly support NDEAM and join with the U.S. Labor Department, the American Bar Association and other organizations in supporting efforts to make the country’s workplaces as inclusive to persons with disabilities as possible.
Unfortunately, sometimes a disability becomes so severe that returning to work isn’t possible. If a disability has left you unable to work, or you have applied for disability benefits only to have your claim denied, we urge you to reach out to Marc Whitehead & Associates to discuss your options for obtaining disability benefits. We’re dedicated to ensuring every disabled worker and veteran get the full disability benefits they deserve.