October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This national campaign aims to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the contributions of employees with disabilities.
This year’s theme is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.” This theme reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
More than one million people with disabilities lost employment during the first six months of the pandemic, according to the New Hampshire University Institute on Disability. The pandemic has disproportionately affected people with disabilities, those who have historically faced significant barriers to employment.
Federal employment statistics show that only 29% of individuals with disabilities are gainfully employed. Many are underemployed ,such as working in low-wage or part-time jobs without opportunities for career advancement. Data from 2020 by the U.S. Department of Labor shows that:
- Across all age groups, persons with disabilities were much less likely to be employed than those with no disabilities.
- Across all educational attainment groups, unemployment rates for persons with a disability were higher than those without a disability.
- In 2020, 29 percent of workers with a disability were employed part-time, compared with 16 percent for those with no disability.
To celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, here are five tips to help your child achieve successful employment after epilepsy surgery.
Upcoming events for NDEAM 2021
- Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2021 (by the Office of Disability Employment Policy): US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams celebrate NDEAM! This exciting event will feature insightful dialogues and a video showcase highlighting strategies in action for an equitable disability-inclusive recovery. Wednesday, October 20, 2021, 2 p.m. ET / 1 p.m. CT / 12 p.m. MT / 11 a.m. PT, register with this link.
- Best Buddies Virtual DEI Summit: In celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), Best Buddies New Jersey hosts its Inaugural DEI Summit. Wednesday, October 27, 2021, 1 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. CT / 11 a.m. MT / 10 a.m. PT, register with this link.
- Federal Policy Priorities on Disability Employment: NDEAM 2021 and Beyond: 18 months into the COVID-19 pandemic and nine months into the Biden Administration, it is worth reflecting on how the employment landscape has been transformed for workers with disabilities. This webinar will feature a host of key high-level federal leaders reflecting on their work, priorities, and hopes for the months ahead. As we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we look to these leaders for their reflections on linking greater inclusion, diversity, and equity to America’s economic recovery. Wednesday, November 10, 2021, 1 p.m. ET / 12 p.m. CT / 11 a.m. MT / 10 a.m. PT, register with this link.
- Educational Transition After Epilepsy Surgery guide
- Transition for Youth with Neurological Conditions course
- Transition session from our 2019 conference (details how your child’s Individual Transition Plan is key to employment in adulthood).
- A Day in Our Shoes: IEP Vision Statements
- Autism Speaks Employment Tool Kit
- Best Buddies Jobs Program secures jobs for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDD), allowing them to earn an income, pay taxes, and continuously and independently support themselves. Best Buddies focuses on finding work that matches the job seeker’s interests and talents.
- Bloom Consulting LLC:
- Bridging the Gap Across Transition is a training module that provides information on your rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Topics include self-advocacy, disability disclosure, medical documentation, and types of accommodations. (Download accessible transcript.)
- The Center for Advancing Policy on Employment for Youth (CAPE-Youth) seeks to improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities by helping states build capacity in their youth service delivery and workforce systems.
- Charting the LifeCourse: Chart your child’s life course by developing a vision for a good life, thinking about what they need to know and do, identifying how to find or develop supports, and discovering what it takes to live the lives they want to live.
- The College Internship Program (CIP): Why Work for Free? The Benefits of Internships for Young Adults with Autism & LD.
- Disability Discrimination | US Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
- DCDT: The International Division on Career Development and Transition is an international professional educational organization affiliated with the International Council for Exceptional Children (CEC). DCDT is dedicated to shaping policies and practices that impact the quality of career development and transition services of youth with exceptionalities.
- Employment First initiative: a national movement to deliver meaningful employment, fair wages, and career advancement for people with disabilities
- Guideposts for Success: A Framework for Successful Youth Transition to Adulthood by the National Collaborative on Workforce and Disability for Youth (NCWD/Youth).
- Institute on Disability/UCED is a federally designated center that builds local, state, and national capacities to respond to the needs of individuals with disabilities and their families.
- Job Accommodation Network (JAN) is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues.
- Kessler Foundation’s National Employment and Disability Survey: Recent College Graduates 2020 Survey: Executive Summary
- NTACT:C | National Technical Assistance Center on Transition: The Collaborative provides information, tools, and supports to assist stakeholders in delivering effective services and instruction for students and out-of-school youth with disabilities.
- U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
- The Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at the School of Industrial and Labor Relations, Cornell University: For nearly 60 years, the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability has advanced knowledge, policies, and practice to support people with disabilities in workplaces, schools, and communities.
About the author
Audrey Vernick is the Director of Patient and Family Advocacy for The Brain Recovery Project. She is the parent of a child who had hemispherectomy for seizures caused by stroke. Ms. Vernick holds a level 2 certification in Special Education Advocacy Training from the Council of Parent Attorneys and Advocates and is certified by The ARC in future planning. She represents The Brain Recovery Project in the Rare Epilepsy Network‘s Adult Transition Taskforce and serves on the Youth Advisory Council for HOBSCOTCH (HOme Based Self-management and COgnitive Training CHanges lives), a behavioral program designed to address memory and attention problems for people who have epilepsy.