October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an awareness campaign and advocacy effort celebrating the contributions of workers with disabilities, and educating people on the value of an inclusive workplace.
Over 70 percent of people with disabilities in our country are not employed, and 81 percent of adults with developmental or intellectual disabilities are unable to find paid work. That’s a huge impact on our economy when 18.3 million people are not participating in the workforce.
Adelante places a priority on helping people find competitive employment, and helped 335 people with disabilities find jobs through Ticket to Work and our EmployAbility supported employment program this past year. Adelante also directly employs almost 300 people with disabilities.
Despite our social mission, not all of the organizations, businesses, government agencies, and individuals who work with Adelante are aware that we are a nonprofit agency actively engaged in finding and providing jobs in the community for people with disabilities, so we wanted to extend our appreciation and raise a bit of awareness surrounding the issue of disability employment.
NDEAM began in 1945 in response to the large number of wounded people who had returned from service in World War II. President Harry S. Truman approved a Congressional resolution declaring the first week of October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week,” which later expanded to include a broader range of disabilities.
Thank you to everyone who has directly hired someone with a disability, shops at or donates to Bargain Square Thrift Store, or utilizes Adelante Enterprises for their mailing, packaging, shredding, and janitorial work. You are helping to make a positive impact on these numbers through your participation and support. If you’re wondering if there are other ways we can work together, please visit www.AdelanteEnterprises.com to review our services, and share this information with your colleagues, friends, and family who may also benefit from Adelante’s services.
For more information on the fascinating history of NDEAM and disability rights in general, visit this detailed, interactive timeline on the U.S. Department of Labor’s website.