DHS Celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is 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. This year's theme is: "A Strong Workforce is an Inclusive Workforce: What can YOU do?" 

Presidential Proclamation

  • U.S. President Proclaims 2012 NDEAM via White House

    "I, BARACK OBAMA, President of the United States of America, by virtue of the authority vested in me by the Constitution and the laws of the United States, do hereby proclaim October 2012 as National Disability Employment Awareness Month." -
    President Barack Obama

2012 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) Poster

October Disability Employment Events 

Date Event
October 1-5 AbilityLinks 24/7 Virtual Job Fair
Hosted by AbilityLinks.org
October 10 Springfield Job/Career Fair and Disabilities Expo
Richard Orr Building, Illinois State Fairgrounds, Springfield, IL
Hosted by Division of Rehabilitation Services (DRS)
October 15 A Leadership Rountable: Chicago Business Building Tomorrow's Workforce: Inclusion of People with Disabilities (pdf)
  • Hosted by Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities & Pepsico
    Pepsico Chicago, 555 W. Monroe St. Chicago, IL 
    Sustainability Center, Ground Floor Level
    Breakfast/Networking: 7:30am - 8am, Program: 8am - 10am
  • Please RSVP and make reasonable accommodation requests to Judy Palencia by October 11 at judy.palencia@ex.cityofchicago.org or call 312-744-7410
October 16 ADA Distance Learning Session:
The Application of Federal Tax Incentives Supporting the Americans with Disabilities Act
Hosted by the Bureau of Accessibility and Job Accommodation (BAJA) and the Illinois ADA Project
October 22 to November 9 DHS Disability Mentoring Day
(Application forthcoming)
Contact Person: Dan R. Dickerson, 217-782-9842 (Phone), 866-211-4895 (TTY), Dan.dickerson@illinois.gov
October 23 DHS Disability Employment Awareness Event
  • Office of Accessibility & Customer Support (OACS) hosts an annual DHS Disability Employment Awareness Event featuring guest speaker Derrick Phillips, Superintendent of ICRE-Wood. The event will include a game show (time permitted). Chicago, Clinton Building, Training Room 1, 11:30am - 1pm
October 24 Webinar: State Employment Tips for Applicants with Disabilities
Hosted by Illinois Department of Human Services Disability Recruitment Initiative and the Interagency Committee on Employees with Disabilities
November 9 Chicago's Disability Mentoring Day (pdf)
  • Hosted by Chicago Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities
    Malcolm X College, 1900 W. Van Buren St., Chicago, IL
    8:30 A.M. - 2:00 P.M.
  • For more information about participating in Chicago's Disability Mentoring Day Program, please contact Joe Albritton at (312) 744-7127 (voice) or (312) 744-4962 (TTY) or send an email to jalbritton@cityofchicago.org.

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, 33 percent usually worked part time in 2011, 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 (14 percent compared with 12 percent).
    Source: U.S. Department of Labor, Bureau of Labor Statistics
  • The unemployment rate for persons with a disability was 15.0 percent in 2011, well above the figure of 8.7 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