National Disability Employment Awareness Month
The historic passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act in 1990 knocked down barriers and paved the way for individuals with disabilities to engage with equal opportunity in programs, services and activities just as non-disabled individuals do. Since that time, the law has provided many advances and opportunities, as well as an ongoing imperative that we must continue to work to provide accessible physical and online environments for all.
As we mark this month, let us remain vigilant in our efforts to increase awareness of accessibility matters and to actively create an environment where people with disabilities feel welcomed, respected, and included as valued and productive members of our Western community.
President Sabah Randhawa
During National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we celebrate the essential contributions to our workplaces, economy, and Nation made by disabled Americans and recommit to promoting equal opportunity for all people.
September 30, 2022
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) commemorates the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy and is organized annually by the US Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).
How can you participate in NDEAM? There are lots of ways! Here are a few ideas, and there are more possibilities to explore on ODEP’s NDEAM website.
Download the Poster
Download a copy of the 2022 NDEAM poster. NDEAM is a great time to refresh bulletin boards in break areas or other locations by posting positive messages that promote a disability-inclusive workforce. Start by putting up this year's NDEAM poster, available in English and Spanish. Additional display materials include the "What Can YOU Do?" poster series.
Learn about the Campaign
Learn more about the Campaign for Disability Employment, an outreach effort funded by the US Department of Labor, Office of Disability Employment Policy, focused on promoting the hiring, retention, and advancement of people with disabilities through challenging common misconceptions about disability employment and encouraging employers and others to recognize the value and talent that people with disabilities add to America's workplaces and economy.
If you’re active on social media, check out the materials in the NDEAM Social Media Kit to help spread the word online and build awareness.
Create Accessible Content
Learn how to develop content that is accessible to individuals with disabilities, in compliance with University Policy 1600.07 Ensuring Accessible Information Technology. For guidance or assistance on creating accessible media, please review the captioning for live and pre-recorded media webpage.
Create Accessible Job Descriptions
Review this checklist for tips on developing job descriptions that are inclusive for applicants with disabilities. Job announcements and descriptions can play an important role in creating a pipeline of candidates that includes qualified people with disabilities. When done well, these documents serve as the first opportunity to communicate a culture of inclusion and workplace flexibility. Nevertheless, job announcements and descriptions often contain language or unnecessary details that may prevent people with disabilities from applying. Ensure job descriptions and job announcement postings are clear and include only truly essential tasks. See Encouraging Applicants with Disabilities: Job Descriptions and Announcements, developed by EARN (Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion).
Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) Webinar
Join EARN on October 19 from 11am-12pm PT for a webinar on Retaining Valued Employees with Disabilities: The Importance of Performance Coaching and Management
Learn about effective strategies people managers can use to support and empower their employees with disabilities when engaging in coaching and performance dialogues.
National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) Webinar
As part of NACE'S 2022 Disability Signature Series in recognition of NDEAM, representatives from EARN will join Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams for “A Conversation With Experts/Practitioners” on October 20, 2022 at 10am PT. Presenters will discuss efforts to connect people with disabilities with employment opportunities and other strategies, practices and resources to support workplace disability inclusion. NACE is a member of EARN’s Inclusion@Work Network Leadership Council.
Learn About Disability History
Learn about disability history. Despite the number of people with disabilities in the U.S. and the fact that they represent all races, classes and cultures, many people are unaware of the rich history of the disability movement. To fill this gap, some states require schools to teach about disability history each year. For an overview of major milestones in disability history and resources for educators to enhance awareness of it, see Disability History: An Important Part of America's Heritage.
Western is committed to supporting individuals with disabilities and providing reasonable accommodations to qualified individuals with disabilities upon request. Employees and job applicants in need of an accommodation should contact Human Resources Disability Services. Students needing disability accommodations for academic purposes are to contact the Disability Access Center. Individuals needing an accommodation to participate in a WWU sponsored public event or program should contact the hosting department and/or the Office of Civil Rights and Title IX Compliance.