Washington, D.C. – Every year, during the month of October, Goodwill of Greater Washington joins hundreds of organizations across the United States in recognizing National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This campaign is an opportunity to educate our nation’s workforce, facilitate discussion about disability employment issues, and lift up the countless contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The theme for NDEAM 2021, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” reflects the importance of ensuring that people wityh disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “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. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
A key focus of Goodwill’s mission of transforming lives and communities through the power of education and employment is to provide individuals with disabilities in the Washington, D.C. area the opportunity to obtain sustainable employment. Almost 80 percent of all labor hours at Goodwill’s 9 government contract sites are performed by individuals with disabilities via the AbilityOne Program.
“We are proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Goodwill of Greater Washington Chief of Collaboration, Communication, and Marketing, Brendan Hurley. “It is an exceptional opportunity to spread awareness about the tremendous contributions individuals with disabilities provide not only to our organization but to the American workforce as a whole.”
Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its message – during October and throughout the year – by visiting www.dol.gov/ndeam
To learn more about Goodwill’s contracts division and the AbilityOne Program please visit https://www.dcgoodwill.org/employment/contract-services/.
About Goodwill of Greater Washington: Goodwill of Greater Washington has been transforming lives and communities through the power of education and employment since 1935.