(Bryan, OH) – Today, Williams County Board of Developmental Disabilities announced it is joining the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy in recognizing National Disability Employment Awareness Month, an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Advancing Access and Equity.”
The history of NDEAM traces back to 1945, when it started as a week and focused only on people with physical disabilities. Later, it expanded to a full month, and its name and scope evolved to acknowledge the importance of increasing the workforce inclusion of people with all nature of disabilities.
“Our communities and economy are strengthened by the inclusion of all people, including people with disabilities,” said Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams. “Their contributions have historically been vital to our nation’s success and are more important today than ever. We must build an accessible, equitable economy that fully includes the talent and drive of those with disabilities.”
Throughout the month, Williams County Board of Developmental Disabilities will be engaging in a variety of activities to further educate its staff and the community on disability employment issues and its commitment to an accessible and equitable work culture. These efforts include a social media campaign to bring awareness to the importance of inclusion in the workplace and the role it has in creating an equitable environment. WCBDD also has a few billboards throughout the county; this year’s message is simple but important: “Inclusion Powers Innovation.” Internally, WCBDD will be celebrating with an employment partnership banquet to highlight the multiple businesses around the community that employ individuals with developmental disabilities. The relationships built through these collaborations are invaluable. Currently, there are eighteen employees who have five or more years of continued service at their employer, demonstrating their dedication to work.
“Williams County Board of Developmental Disabilities is proud to be a part of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Andrea Hammond, Superintendent of the Board. “We want to spread the important message that we value all perspectives, especially those of individuals with disabilities.”Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways they can promote its messages—during October and throughout the year—by visiting dol.gov/NDEAM.