NDEAM stands for National Disability Employment Awareness month. Held each October, NDEAM is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. The theme for 2019 is The Right Talent, Right Now.
The question is, “who cares about NDEAM?” The answer should be EVERYONE. The primary reason everyone should care is because the NDEAM campaign increases awareness and highlights the importance of quality employment amongst those with disabilities. The Disabled Community is the only community that an individual can find themselves a part of at any time. Just because you might not currently be disabled doesn’t mean that you won’t be tomorrow.
Let’s think for a second about how impactful the 2019 theme The Right Talent, Right Now can be for so many people.
The Right Talent
Having the right talent refers to the expectations that employers should have for people hired with disabilities. Most individuals with disabilities aren’t requiring special consideration when interviewing, but they are expecting employers to be fair in their hiring practices. Many with disabilities have great skills and are more than capable of completing tasks that are asked of them. If given the chance, employers may be surprised by what some candidates can bring to the table…the right talent!
There’s a need for companies and organizations to look past a person’s disability and give highly qualified candidates, those that happen to have a disability, a chance. Often times, when it comes to hiring someone with a disability against someone without a disability, and without a true understanding or lack of desire to make special accommodations, an employer may prefer to hire someone without a disability. With that kind of thinking, many organizations miss out on hiring great people that can bring innovation and growth to a position…right now!
The right talent, right now empowers both the employee and the employer. Most people, whether with a disability or not, feel empowered when working and sustaining themselves because of their personal efforts. Employment empowers that individual, which effectively empowers the employer in return.
So who cares about National Disability Employment Awareness Month? Everyone should and it’s going to take everyone to ensure that the campaign is successful each year and continued on throughout the year. We should all focus on how we as individuals can do our part to promote the theme The Right Talent, Right Now.
David Spears is a member of the Workforce Solutions Navigator team for the Texas Gulf Coast Region. Combining training and education to real world examples, David brings personal and professional experience with disabilities to the table in order to help job seekers with disabilities realize their potential. David has a Bachelor of Science degree in Business Administration with over 20 years of experience in the business world.
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.