IDHS Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month

10/12/2011

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month (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.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month began in 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week of 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".

This year's theme is: "Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities: Return on investment means hiring the right talent."

Presidential Proclamation

2011 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) Poster

October Disability Employment Events

# Date Event
1 October 13 WorkAbility!
Hosted by CBLN DisabilityWorks
2 October 18 DHS Disability Employment Awareness Event
  • Office of Accessibility & Customer Support (OACS) hosts a Disability Awareness Event featuring cutting demonstration performed by legally blind Chef Laura Martinez. The event will include a game show (time permitted) and a short videotape offered by the Campaign for Disability Employment entitled "What can YOU do?"
  • Where: Chicago, Clinton Building, 401 S. Clinton St, Chicago, IL, 1st Floor, Training Room 1, 1
  • Time: 1:30am - 1pm
3 October 18 ADA Distance Learning Session: ADA Case Law Update
Hosted by the Bureau of Accessibility and Job Accommodation (BAJA) and the Illinois ADA Project
4 October 19 Disability Mentoring Day
5 October 19 Springfield Job/Career Fair and Disabilities Expo
Hosted by Illinois Department of Human Services, Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)
6 October 24-28  Disability Employment Virtual Job Fair
Hosted by AbilityLinks.org
7 October 26 Community Forum on the Employment of People with Disabilities
Hosted by NBC 5 Chicago
  • Featuring Lulama Xingwana, South Africa's Minister for Women, Children and People with Disabilities, and a Roundtable discussion on employment issues.
  • Where: NBC Tower, 454 N. Columbus Drive, Chicago, IL
  • Time: 2pm - 4pm
  • Space is limited. To reserve a spot, RSVP to garnold@accessliving.org. American Sign Language Interpreter will be provided. For other accommodation requests, contact Gary Arnold at 312-640-2199 voice, garnold@accessliving.org.
8 October 27 Illinois ADA Project Fall Conference: ADA Legal Update from Government Officials 
Hosted by Illinois ADA Project in collaboration with the DBTAC-Great Lake ADA Center and Equip for Equality

Public Awareness Campaign

Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS) Success Stories

Jobs Sites for People with Disabilities

  • AbilityLinks.org - The job opportunity website for people with disabilities and inclusive employers.
  • DisabilityWorks - Increases employment opportunities for people with disabilities throughout Illinois.
  • Federal Employment of People with Disabilities - Helps people (with or without disabilities) better understand how to hire and retain persons with disabilities in federal government.

Disability Employment Facts and Statistics

  • Workers with a disability were more likely than those with no disability to work part time. Among workers with a disability, 32 percent usually worked part time in 2010, compared with 19 percent of workers without a disability. A slightly larger proportion of workers with a disability worked part time for economic reasons than those with no disability (8 and 6 percent, respectively). These individuals were working part time because their hours had been cut back or because they were unable to find a full-time job.
    Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • Workers with a disability were slightly more likely than those with no disability to work in production, transportation, and material moving occupations (15 percent compared with 12 percent).
    Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • The unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 14.8 percent in 2010, well above the figure of 9.4 percent for those with no disability. (Unemployed persons are those who did not have a job, were available for work, and were actively looking for a job in the 4 weeks preceding the survey.)
    Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • People with disabilities represent the third largest market segment in the U.S., surpassing Hispanics, African Americans and Asian Americans, as well as Generation X and teens. Add in their families, friends and associates, and you get a trillion dollars in purchasing power.
    Source: Campaign for Disability Employment
  • Job accommodations for people with disabilities are usually low cost or no cost. A recent study conducted by the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) revealed that 56 percent of workplace accommodations cost absolutely nothing, Of those accommodations that did have a cost, the typical one-time expenditure by employers was $500.
    Source: Campaign for Disability Employment