The White House, Office of the Press Secretary September 30, 2015
NATIONAL DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH, 2016
– – – – – – – – – – –
BY THE PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES OF AMERICA
Americans with disabilities are entitled to the same rights and freedoms as any other citizen — including the right to dignity and respect in the workplace. Too often in our Nation’s history, individuals with disabilities have been eager to work but could not find a job, facing red tape, discrimination, or employers who assumed that disabled meant unable and refused to hire them. This month, we recognize the significant progress our country has made for those living with disabilities, and we honor the lasting contributions and diverse skills they bring to our workforce.
As a country, we must acknowledge that despite the great strides we have made in the 26 years since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act — a groundbreaking civil rights law aimed at eliminating discrimination and assuring equality for people with disabilities — we still have far to go to raise awareness of discriminatory obstacles that individuals with disabilities encounter in employment. Today, the labor force participation rate for Americans with disabilities is less than one-third the rate of those without a disability, and the unemployment rate is more than twice as high for individuals with disabilities. To break down more of these barriers, we must expand access to the resources and training necessary for Americans with disabilities to succeed in the workplace.
My Administration is dedicated to upholding our Nation’s promise of equal opportunity for all and advancing employment for people with disabilities in every community. I am proud that the Federal Government is leading by example as a model employer, now employing more Americans with disabilities than at any time in the last 30 years. Last year, the White House hosted a Summit on Disability and Employment to share resources for employers to hire more individuals with disabilities and effective strategies for recruitment, retention, hiring, and promotion of these employees. Two years ago, through updates to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act, we took action to increase the representation of workers with disabilities in the Federal contractor workforce. In 2014, I signed the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act to help the Departments of Labor and Education build initiatives that advance employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities — and earlier this summer, we issued new regulations to provide greater and more inclusive career development and training opportunities for anyone facing barriers to employment.
This year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme focuses on the importance of inclusion, especially when it comes to business, opportunity, and innovation. When we diversify our workforce we create opportunities for growth and improvement — not just for those with disabilities, but for everyone. This month, let us continue striving to forge a future where workplaces are more inclusive and where employees are more accepted for who they are. And because we know that our country does best when everyone gets their fair shot, let us keep working to ensure no one is left behind or unable to pursue their dreams because of a disability.
NOW, THEREFORE, I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2016 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. I urge all Americans to embrace the talents and skills that individuals with disabilities bring to our workplaces and communities and to promote the right to equal employment opportunity for all people.
IN WITNESS WHEREOF, I have hereunto set my hand this thirtieth day of September, in the year of our Lord two thousand sixteen, and of the Independence of the United States of America the two hundred and forty-first.
Skills Inc. is proud to support National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). Held each October since 1945, NDEAM aims to educate employers about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of American workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “#InclusionWorks.”
For over 50 years, Skills Inc. has been a leader in disability employment and inclusion by focusing on the strengths and abilities of our workforce. We take great pride in serving our community while supplying quality goods and services to the aerospace and technology sectors.
Skills Inc. encourages all employers to embrace diversity while promoting a culture of inclusion where all people can thrive. Take part in NDEAM by participating in one or more of the below events. The Office of Disability Employment Policy, (ODEP) website also provides various ways to celebrate the month, including “31 Days of NDEAM – What you CAN do!“.
Tweet it. Greet it. Make it happen!
Dates to Note:
Oct. 5th, 10am-10:30am PDT
Employment Law Developments and Advocacy Strategies radio show hosted by ADA Live!
Oct. 6th, 10am-11:30am PDT
Customizing Employment: Success through Partnerships Webinar hosted by LEAD Center
Oct. 7th, 7:30am-11am PDT
2016 Governor’s Employer Awards Event hosted by Governor’s Committee on Disability Issues & Employment
Oct. 12th, 5pm-8pm PDT
Diversity & Inclusion in the Workplace – Talk & Hack MeetUp hosted by Linked: Seattle
Oct. 13th, 10am-12pm PDT
Disability Diversity in the Higher Education Workforce hosted by EARN
Disability Mentoring Day
Oct. 20th, 10:45am-11:30am PDT
PEAT Talks Virtual Speaker Series: Celebrating NDEAM with Maria Town, Associate Director for the White House Office of Public Engagement hosted by PEAT
Oct. 26th, 9am-10am PDT
Disability Inclusion Across the Employment Process Webinar hosted by Cornell University
Nov. 9th, 5:15pm-7:30pm PDT
Leave & Accommodation in the Workplace – Panel Discussion and Social sponsored by SRHM/ LWHRA
Nov. 17th, 10am-11am
Tapping the Talents of Veterans with Disabilities: Steps to Success hosted by EARN