National Disability Employment Awareness Month

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). The theme for NDEAM 2021, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

How can you participate in NDEAM? There are lots of ways! Below are a few ideas, and there are more possibilities to explore on ODEP’s NDEAM website.

Dear Western community,

Inclusive success is at the heart of Western’s mission. Throughout the month of October and beyond, I encourage each and every one of us to consider how we can enhance our understanding and actively contribute to creating working and learning environments that center accessibility, equity, and inclusion for our community members with disabilities.

President Sabah Randhawa
October 2021

National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a chance for us to celebrate workers with disabilities and recommit ourselves to dismantling barriers to access and inclusion in the workplace.

President Biden
September 30, 2021

Download the Poster

Download a copy of the 2021 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.

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.

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 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).


Join the Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN) for a webinar on building disability-inclusive workplaces! “Disability-Inclusive Workplace Culture: Building it to Last” will take place on October 20, 2021 from 8 a.m.- 9 a.m. PT. Learn how leading companies build and sustain disability-inclusive cultures and how your organization can apply these lessons to build a stronger, more inclusive workplace as you recover from the pandemic. Guest speakers from JPMorgan and Accenture will discuss how careful planning and ongoing support across all levels of an organization will help attract and retain employees with disabilities.

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.