Arkansas Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

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National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2020

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2020

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)!

Celebrating disability inclusion for 75 years with continued commitment to a diverse and competitive American labor force! The 2020 NDEAM theme is “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.

The Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities Arkansas believes that all people with disabilities should have the opportunity for competitive, integrated employment. Through supported decision making, people with disabilities can choose for themselves if employment is the right choice. We embrace the Arkansas Employment First philosophy, that all working age adults and transition-age youth with significant disabilities can and should have opportunities to work in their communities where they can enjoy greater earnings, better benefits, improved health, and an enhanced quality of life. Please visit our Competitive Integrated Employment resource webpage to learn more at:

What does competitive, integrated employment mean?
Competitive, integrated employment means a full-time or part-time job (with or without supports) in the competitive labor force, in a physically/functionally/socially integrated setting, paying at least minimum wage but not less than the customary wage for the same or similar work performed by workers without a disability, and offering a level of employer-paid benefits that are the same or similar as offered to workers without a disability.

A Commemorative Year!
In 2020, we are celebrating 75 years of National Disability Employment Awareness Month and reminding people of the importance of increasing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.

On the national level, the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is recognizing that this year marks not only the 75th observance of NDEAM, but also the 30th anniversary of the ADA. Both milestones are being commemorated with a range of events and activities centered on the theme “Increasing Access and Opportunity”.

Employers and Hiring Managers: NDEAM is a great time to start practicing inclusive hiring! Here are some resources to help you understand related issues and implement steps to foster a disability-inclusive workplace:

Job Accommodation Network (JAN)

Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN)

ODEP website

National Association of People Supporting Employment First (APSE)

Arkansas Rehabilitation Services

Arkansas Association of People Supporting Employment First (AR APSE)

Arkansas Employment First


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