Person working in food service
October 1, 2021

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month
National Disability Employment Awareness Month:  America's Recovery Powered By Inclusion

The Office for People With Developmental Disabilities (OPWDD) has long recognized National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) organized by the U.S. Department of Labor because employment is such a key component of our mission to help people with developmental disabilities live richer lives.

This year's NDEAM theme "America's Recovery Powered By Inclusion," is especially fitting in light of the ongoing economic challenges we face as a result of the pandemic. As employers all across the country, including OPWDD, struggle to find reliable workers during this time of national uncertainty, we need to remind them that people with developmental disabilities represent a largely untapped pool of employees who are ready, willing, and able to fill many of their open positions. In fact, many people with developmental disabilities are at work right now powering America's recovery!

This month we are asking for your help in both educating employers about the tremendous ability that exists among people with disabilities and encouraging them to consider people with developmental disabilities for employment. Our Employability Toolkit can help.

We've gathered a few stories about employers who have benefited by having people with developmental disabilities on their team.

Read about Pine Ridge Industries' partnership with RAD Soap

View videos of other Employment Success Stories including:

We hope that you will join us in spreading the word by sharing your own stories of success on your social media channels. Is there someone with a developmental disability who you've seen doing a particularly good job in your community? Have you hired someone with a developmental disability who has been an asset to your business? Are you a person with a developmental disability doing work that you enjoy and making a difference for your employer? We want to know! Be sure to use the hashtags #EmployAbility #NDEAM2021.

In addition to sharing these stories, we're hoping to add more New York employers to the EmployAbility Honor Roll.  We'll again be encouraging New York employers to commit to an inclusive workforce by signing our EmployAbility Pledge. Working together, we can move the needle on the employment rate among people with developmental disabilities AND on America's recovery. Let's get to work!