National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is observed in October and is a perfect opportunity for faculty and staff to promote awareness, celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities, and educate about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of all skills and talents. Here are some ways faculty and staff can celebrate and engage during this month:
- Host Awareness Events: Organize workshops, seminars, and panel discussions that address topics related to disability and employment. Invite disabled professionals, alumni, or advocates to share their stories and experiences.
- Educate: Share statistics, articles, and resources about the employment of people with disabilities through lectures, bulletin boards, or via email.
- Guest Lecturers: Invite experts in the field of disability employment to give talks or conduct webinars.
- Promote Inclusive Hiring: Advocate for inclusive hiring practices within the institution. This can also include encouraging departments and campus offices to provide internships or job shadowing opportunities for students with disabilities.
- Collaborate with Disability Access & Inclusion Student Services (DAISS): Work with DAISS to offer specialized training sessions for faculty on creating inclusive classrooms and understanding accommodations.
- Showcase Achievements: Highlight the achievements and contributions of students, alumni, and faculty with disabilities.
- Collaborate with Student Organizations: Partner with student organizations that focus on disability advocacy to host joint events or initiatives.
- Class Discussions: Incorporate discussions on disability and employment into the curriculum, where relevant.
- Host Workshops: Offer workshops on resume building, interview techniques, and job searching for students with disabilities.
- Accessibility and Inclusive Language: Review class materials are accessible (e.g., captions for videos, alt-text for images) and use inclusive and respectful language within the classroom.
The Career and Professional Development office has useful employment resources for students with disabilities. Please feel free to check them out and/or pass them along to your students.