National Disability Employment Awareness Month - October 2003
October is designated as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) to recognize the contributions of disabled Americans in the workplace. The theme of this year's observance is "America Works Best When All Americans Work." A range of activities will commemorate NDEAM, including awards ceremonies and mentoring activities. While several regulations exist to protect the rights of disabled Americans, our nation's 50 million disabled persons face significantly higher rates of unemployment than the general population. Programs addressing specific employment barriers in need of attention and removal are an important component of NDEAM observances. As NDEAM is celebrated this month, GovBenefits.gov is highlighting some of the benefit programs available to assist disabled persons with their employment needs.

Additional resources for persons with disabilities are available at www.DisabilityInfo.gov. For more information about NDEAM, visit the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy at www.dol.gov/odep.

  • AgrAbility Project

  • The AgrAbility Project assists people with disabilities employed in production agriculture. Twenty-one states have developed AgrAbility programs offering an array of services, including resource referral, onsite technical assistance, practical education and training, and peer support networks. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=640

  • Centers for Independent Living for Individuals with Disabilities

  • Independent living services available for persons with disabilities, aim to integrate these individuals into the mainstream American society by reaching them through local Centers for Independent Living. Some of the services provided by the Centers include: information and referral; independent living skills training; peer counseling; seeking employment opportunities; and staging recreational events that integrate individuals with disabilities with their non-disabled peers. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=635

  • Disabled Veterans' Outreach Program (DVOP)

  • To develop jobs and job training opportunities for disabled and other veterans. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=106

  • Vocational Rehabilitation for Individuals with Disabilities

  • Vocational rehabilitation services are available for persons who are unable to prepare for, secure, retain or regain employment due to a mental or physical disability, but wish to pursue meaningful careers. VR assists such individuals to secure employment corresponding with their abilities, through local job searches and awareness of self-employment and telecommuting opportunities. For more information visit www.govbenefits.gov/benefits/report.jhtml?bid=634