Each October, we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) in order to recognize the contributions of workers with disabilities and educate society about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. The 2016 theme for NDEAM is “#InclusionWorks.” According to Jennifer Sheehy, deputy assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy:
“Our nation’s most successful companies proudly make inclusion a core value. They know that inclusion works. It works for workers, it works for employers, it works for opportunity, and it works for innovation.”
In addition, Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) is a nationwide effort that takes place every October to promote career development for students and job-seekers with disabilities through hands-on career exploration, job shadowing, and ongoing mentoring. DMD, a program offered by the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), connects nearly 13,000 individuals to thousands of employers each year. At the CIP Brevard Center, one of the favorite DMD sites in past years has been Kennedy Space Center. In addition, businesses such as BRPH, the Melbourne Regional Chamber, Publix, and Manpower employment agency have supported our Brevard Center students as part of the DMD movement.
If you or a loved one is looking for a job at a disability inclusive organization, you may want to turn to this year’s national DMD sponsors: Walgreens, Walmart, American Airlines, AT&T, Comcast NBCUniversal, JP Morgan Chase, Verizon, Amgen, Goldman Sachs, Northrop Grumman, and Time Warner. Visit AAPD.com for more information about DMD or email DMD@aapd.com.
Another company striving for workplace inclusion is Kellogg’s. According to GettingHired, Inc., “one of the most effective ways of creating inclusive workplaces is by forming Employee Resource Groups (ERG’s). 90% of Fortune 500 companies have them and in recent years they have grown in popularity with many companies wanting to improve their company’s inclusion. Kellogg’s has eight ERG’s and has recently formed Kapable, which led by employees with disabilities and their advocates, helps to continuously develop an inclusive workplace for current and future employees with disabilities. To learn more about Kapable, join their webinar on October 11th.