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Theme picked in National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

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The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has chosen “#InclusionWorks” as the theme of 2016’s official National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

Observed in October, NDEAM is a nationwide campaign celebrating the skills and talents workers with disabilities bring to the workplace. Led nationally by ODEP, NDEAM observances are held nationwide every year. Each spring, the theme for each year’s celebration is announced to help organizations and groups plan their events.

“Our nation’s most successful companies proudly make inclusion a core value,” says Jennifer Sheehy, deputy assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy, in a press release. “They know that inclusion works. It works for workers, it works for employers, it works for opportunity and it works for innovation.”

ODEP created this year’s theme with input from a variety of partner organizations, including those representing employers, people with disabilities and their families, and federal, state and local agencies.

The hope is that the hashtag theme spurs both individuals and groups to post images and stimulate discussion on social media about the many ways “inclusion works.”

NDEAM’s history dates back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.

In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, the federal legislature expanded the week to a month and changed the name to NDEAM.

When the department established ODEP in 2001, the agency assumed responsibility for NDEAM.

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