For more than 70 years, Americans have celebrated the inclusion of people with disabilities as a valuable asset to the workforce during the month of October which is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This year’s theme for NDEAM is “Inclusion Drives Innovation” as Americans reflect on the important role that different perspectives play in workforce success.
Society has grown from the collective ideas of people from different background and experiences and people with disabilities are a part of that collaboration of ideas. Many of the ideas that are presented to improve the lives of people with disabilities are often seen as improving the lives of people without disabilities as well. A great example is closed captioning. I can only imagine how many people without hearing impairments benefit from the option to use closed captioning.
As we reflect on the National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, let’s also remember how people with disabilities also have the skills necessary to be valuable assets within any company. There’s practically no company nationwide that doesn’t have opportunities that someone with a disability would not be able to contribute to their overall success. The truth of that statement is proven more and more every day as companies actively recruit people with disabilities to provide opportunities that may have been closed to them in previous decades.
As we celebrate NDEAM this October, the Workforce Solutions Navigators will visit and set up resource tables at several Workforce solutions career office locations to provide additional information and resources to staff and job candidates. The information will include best practices concerning employment assistance to those with a disability as well as understanding accommodations and hiring practices for employers. There are several events going on to celebrate NDEAM. For an up-to-date list of events, feel free to send an email
Cornelius Booker is a senior member of the Regional Navigator team and a graduate of Oklahoma State University where he received his Bachelors in Marketing and later received his M.B.A with a focus on Business Marketing and Management. With his personal experience and passion for the disabled community, Cornelius’ insights are an invaluable asset to the Workforce Solutions organization.