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.
"This year's theme encapsulates the important message that people with disabilities are just that — people," said Jennifer Sheehy, acting assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. "And like all people, we are the sum of many parts, including our work experiences. Disability is an important perspective we bring to the table, but, of course, it's not the only one."
Throughout the month, GROWMARK, Inc. will be engaging in a variety of activities to educate its employees on the organization’s commitment to an inclusive work culture. Activities include promoting volunteer opportunities with Marcfirst, displaying DOL posters with the 2015 NDEAM theme, organizing a visit and tour of the Marcfirst offices with GROWMARK’s Diversity and Inclusion committee, and weekly social media posts throughout the month highlighting GROWMARK’s commitment to partnering with organizations that help clients with disabilities. Marcfirst is a local organization whose mission is to connect families and people with developmental disabilities to their community through a lifetime of meaningful supports. Marcfirst envisions a community that encourages and accepts all people.
"GROWMARK, Inc. is proud to be a part of this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month," said Kristen Kubsch, Affirmative Action/EEO Specialist at GROWMARK. "We want to spread the important message that we value diverse perspectives, including those of individuals with disabilities." To read more about GROWMARK’s community partnerships and diversity initiatives, visit www.growmark.com/careers.
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 messages — during October and throughout the year — by visiting www.dol.gov/ndeam.