This month, The Arc Madison Cortland celebrated the 75th National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
NDEAM originated in 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD). In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed its name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
This year marks not only the 75th year of NDEAM, but also the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The purpose of this observance is to educate the community on disability employment issues, while also celebrating the countless contributions of workers with disabilities.
The Arc’s Integrated Business enterprise employs individuals with I/DDs to manufacturing positions, providing valuable employment opportunities and vocational skill-building. Additionally, The Arc offers assistance with job placement and coaching through its Alternative Vocational Services and partners with more than 45 businesses in the local area.
Reflecting on this year's theme of "Increasing Access and Opportunity," The Arc Madison Cortland utilized its social media platforms to spotlight workers with disabilities and their unique stories, as well as business leaders who closely work with these individuals. In addition, The Arc created disability employment infographics to engage and educate the public and celebrate an inclusive work environment! #NDEAM75