ANNISTON ARMY DPEOT, Anniston, Ala. -- The observation of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is established by Public Law and Presidential Proclamation. National Disability Employment Awareness Month is observed from 1 - 31 October of each year.

NDEAM began in 1945 as a week-long observance. It originated as a celebration to observe those that are “physically handicapped”.  In 1988, the federal legislature expanded the week to a month long celebration and included people with “all” disabilities. We understand that “people with disabilities” is a diverse group that includes people with sensory, physical, and mental conditions. People with disabilities cross lines of age, ethnicity, sex, race, sexual orientation, and socioeconomic status. This a group that anyone can become a member of at any time.

The 2021 Department of Defense NDEAM theme is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion”. The poster displayed throughout the depot depicts a light bulb filled with various gears which represent the many diverse individuals in the workforce. The inclusion of these individuals, to include those with disabilities, and the continual ingenuity they have provided, have driven the many innovations that have powered America through its most recent challenges.

VIRIN: 210930-D-D0201-0002
VIRIN: 210930-D-D0201-0002 (Photo Credit: U.S. Army) VIEW ORIGINAL

Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment, Jennifer Sheehy, explained this year’s theme, “reflects our commitment to an inclusive recovery, one in which those of us with disabilities have full access to economic opportunity and – if needed – the accommodations and supports that allow us to contribute our skills and talents.”

The awareness event is observed so that Americans may continue our obligation of ensuring equal opportunity for all citizens and so that they may pay tribute to the accomplishments of men and women with disabilities who contributed, continue to contribute, and wish to contribute to our nation.  NDEAM is also an opportunity to reaffirm the DoD’s commitment to recruit, retain, and advance individuals with disabilities throughout our workforce.

The DoD has long been a leader in providing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Thirty years before the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission set a regulatory goal for all Federal Government agencies to employ individuals with targeted disabilities at a rate of two percent, the DoD established such a goal. In 2019, DoD exceeded this mandated goal.

As the Nation’s largest employer, the DoD recognizes its critical role in advancing disability awareness in the workplace.

ANAD understands that we are all equally important in protecting our nation and that we all have a role to play in mission readiness.

The depot will hold its annual National Disability Employment Awareness event on Oct. 29.  Tickets will be sold in the EEO office. We will share additional soon.