Skip to Page Content | Navigation Menu

I Have a Dream: Creating your Life Portfolio

  • Facebook: Southeast ADA Center
  • Twitter: Southeast ADA Center
  • LinkedIn: Southeast ADA Center
  • Pinterest
  • YouTube: Southeast ADA Center

Resources

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

Each October is designated National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by Congress. The NDEAM effort to educate the American public about issues related to disability and employment actually began in 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to "National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)."

Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) began in 1999 as part of a White House effort to increase the profile of NDEAM. DMD is a nationwide effort to promote career development for students with disabilities through hands-on career exploration and is held each year on the third Wednesday of October during NDEAM.

Upon its establishment in 2001, the U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) assumed responsibility for NDEAM and has worked to expand its reach and scope ever since. Although led by ODEP, NDEAM's true spirit lies in the many observances held at the grassroots level across the nation every year. Employers, schools and organizations of all sizes and in all communities are encouraged to participate in NDEAM, and ODEP offers several resources to help them do so. Activities range from simple, such as putting up a poster, to comprehensive, such as implementing a disability education program. Regardless, all play an important part in fostering a more inclusive America, one where every person is recognized for his or her abilities — every day of every month throughout the year.

Learn More and Connect

For resources and to learn more about how you can participate:
National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

For information on disability employment and fostering a more inclusive workforce:
Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)


Disability Mentoring Day (DMD)

While Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) has been and continues to be officially launched the third Wednesday of each October during National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the foundation of the program has expanded from a one-day event to a year-round nationwide initiative across the country to promote career development for students with disabilities and job-seekers with disabilities through hands-on career exploration and ongoing mentoring relationships.

Students with disabilities (mentees) are matched with workplace mentors according to expressed career interests. Mentees experience a typical day on the job and learn how to prepare to enter the world of work. Employers gain an increased awareness that people with disabilities represent an overlooked talent pool.

History of DMD

Disability Mentoring Day (DMD) began in 1999 as part of a White House effort to increase the profile of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which is celebrated every October. Since that event, DMD has springboarded from a one day event for a small group of students to an extensive national mentoring program for young professionals with disabilities across the United States, territories and abroad. DMD is a large-scale national effort coordinated by American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD).

What are the goals of DMD?

  • Enhance internship and employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Promote disability as a central component of diversity recruitment for a more inclusive workforce.
  • Dispel employers' fears about hiring people with disabilities.
  • Increase confidence among students and job seekers with disabilities.
  • Launch a year-round effort to foster mentoring opportunities.

Learn More and Connect

For resources and to learn more about how you can participate:
Disability Mentoring Day (DMD)

For information on the organization that coordinates DMD:
American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)