ITD acknowledges disability employment month

Each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) strives to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

“We recognize the indispensable contributions people with disabilities make in our economy and recommit to building a country where each of us can realize the full extent of our dreams, “ said President Barack Obama in a presidential proclamation.

“All Americans are entitled to an accessible workplace, a level playing field, and the same privileges, pursuits, and opportunities as any of their family, friends, and neighbors,” he said. “This month, let us rededicate ourselves to bringing down barriers and raising up aspirations for all our people, regardless of disability, so we may share in a brighter future together.”

NDEAM is led by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy. This year’s theme is "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What Can YOU Do?"

"The Idaho Transportation Department’s goal to be the best in the nation requires a strong workforce -- one inclusive of the skills and talents of all individuals, including individuals with disabilities,” said Senior Human Resources Specialist Michelle George.

“People with disabilities are important to ITD’s workforce,” George said. “Access for everyone to fair employment is a departmental commitment and priority.”

The history of NDEAM 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.

Published 10-5-2012