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October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Did you know October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)? And this year marks 70 years since its first observance as a week in 1945. The purpose of this month is to celebrate the contributions America’s workers with disabilities have made to the workforce and economy.  Workplaces welcoming of the talents of all people, including people with disabilities, are a critical part of our efforts to build an inclusive community and strong economy. ECS is recognizing NDEAM by facilitating and supporting a range of NDEAM events and initiatives, including additional walk-in hours in partnership with Disability Services.

With the provisions of Section 503, certain government contractors were given a hiring goal of 7% representation of qualified workers with disabilities. This has resulted in heightened efforts by companies to recruit individuals with disabilities and an increased awareness of the need for representation within the workforce. For more information on your job search as a candidate with disabilities, please visit ECS Students with Disabilities resource page.

If you are interested in getting involved in creating awareness around disabilities and employment, consider the following options:

  1. Become a Mentor/ Mentee.  The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) has an extensive list of active DMD coordinators. If interested, please email them at DMD@aapd.com to receive information on how to become a mentee or mentor for year-round initiatives.
  2. Seek Out Opportunities.  May 2016 graduates with attention and learning disabilities enrolled at The Ohio State University should consider an exciting opportunity in partnership with the Ohio Business Leadership Network (OHBLN). The OSU/ OHBLN Mentoring Program will match qualified candidates with mentors from a wide range of disciplines. These relationships will establish a professional mentor to provide job shadowing and other career-related advice and opportunities. Please visit the Office of Student Life Disability Services for more information.
  3. Get Informed.  Take a look at the resources below for some helpful resources.
    --Job Accommodation Network (JAN) offers a variety of resources for both companies and individuals interested in learning more about disabilities in the workplace.
    --Check out different disability employment related topics offered online by the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP).
    --Check out the Campaign for Disability Employment’s “Who I Am” PSA.

“There is no greater disability in society, than the inability to see a person as more.”
-Robert M. Hensel

About the author

Ashley Taylor

Ashley Taylor is a Career Counselor at Engineering Career Services.