Businesses and organizations around the nation are celebrating their employees with disabilities this month, reflecting the growing movement to make workplaces, businesses and public spaces welcoming and inclusive for all.
So, what’s the occasion?
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
The designation, while officially declared in 1988 by the U.S. Congress, started gaining momentum all the way back in 1945, as those who signed up to fight in World War II returned home as veterans with permanent, life-changing injuries – and families to support.
The public support for these returning soldiers inspired President Harry S. Truman to approve a resolution declaring the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.”
Along with a change to the name of the resolution to include disabilities of every type, this resolution evolved and expanded over time to support all Americans with disabilities and the businesses that succeed thanks to their work.
Slowly but surely, the evolution of inclusivity has entered the digital age. That means there’s no shortage of options to bring your business to the next level. The Department of Labor provided a huge number of ideas in its slideshow, “31 Days of NDEAM — What you CAN do!” Check out some of these impactful ideas:
Taking even one of these steps can help you honor individuals with disabilities in tangible, life-changing ways.
Because job searches and applications are digital, websites are today’s doorway to employment. It is critical that people with varied and changing abilities have access to websites in order to even be considered for a job, and that’s the first step toward employment.
From a business perspective, companies use web technology to streamline their application process. “Diversity and inclusion” are important initiatives of hiring today, and the potential positive impact for persons with disabilities is immense. By making their sites more accessible, companies will broaden their applicant pool while reinforcing their commitment to diversity and inclusion.
The U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) website provides a list of steps employers can take to show their support for an inclusive workplace. Here are a few of their highly effective ideas your organization can try:
User1st enables organizations to rapidly discover and continually test, implement, and maintain digital content accessibility to reach more customers while meeting compliance obligations. We’re solely focused on digital accessibility, and continually strive for innovation through offerings that allow organizations to realize the benefits of full and open web content.
Take advantage of our free tools to get started on making your website inclusive and accessible to millions of Americans with disabilities – join us in celebrating NDEAM! Just visit the Chrome Store and start your web compliance check with our accessibility testing tool, uTester.
Written by Raegan Bartlo