October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)

The U.S. Department of Labor announced that, in recognition of the vital role people with disabilities play in making the nation’s workforce diverse and inclusive, that the theme for 2022’s NDEA will be “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation.”

Led by its Office of Disability Employment Policy, the department’s annual observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month acknowledges the contributions to the nation’s economy made by workers with disabilities, current and past. The commemoration also showcases supportive and inclusive policies and practices benefiting workers and employers.

“A strong workforce is the sum of many parts, and disability has always been a key part of the equation,” said Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Taryn M. Williams. “People with disabilities make up a wonderfully multifaceted group. By recognizing the full complexion of our community, we can ensure our efforts to achieve disability inclusion are, in fact, truly inclusive.”

Support for NDEAM from the Highest Office in the Land

The Biden-Harris administration has taken a whole-of-government approach to identify and eliminate barriers to helping historically underserved communities, including people with disabilities. On his first day in office, President Biden signed Executive Order 13985, “Advancing Racial Equity and Support for Underserved Communities Through the Federal Government” and directed all federal departments and agencies to examine their policies and programs.

Here are the president’s recent comments about people with disabilities:

Despite the progress our Nation has made in recent decades, people with disabilities are still too often marginalized and denied access to the American dream. Americans with disabilities — particularly women and people of color — have faced long-standing gaps in employment, advancement and income. The COVID-19 pandemic has compounded these inequities, as people with disabilities have faced heightened risks — particularly the disproportionate share of people with disabilities employed in the hardest-hit industries. Our Nation will never fully recover and rebuild unless every single community — including disabled Americans — is fully included.

Why Hiring Disabled People Makes Good Business Sense

We’ve written before on our blog about how hiring those with disabilities has its advantages, and this includes neurodivergent employees, elderly candidates, and Veterans.

According to this article on Forbes.com, there are competitive advantages to hiring disabled and neuro- diverse employees.

An inclusive workplace values all employees for their strengths. It offers employees with disabilities an equal opportunity to succeed, learn, be compensated fairly, and advance. Some areas that are affected and create a competitive advantage are:

  • Profits and cost-effectiveness
  • Turnover and retention
  • Reliability and punctuality
  • Employee loyalty
  • Company image
  • Customer loyalty and satisfaction

In the above-linked Forbes.com article, Kevin Rizer says “Persons with disabilities are used to solving problems and often must work with extra effort and diligence to simply be considered and recognized at the same level as their peers. For the roughly 1 in 4 Americans with some disability, adapting and creating innovative solutions is necessary to survive and thrive in a world not designed for them.”   Kevin Rizer is a hearing impaired author of Always Wear Pants: And 99 Other Tips for Surviving and Thriving While You Work From Home.

Strategic Consulting is Your Partner in Managing Workplace ADA Issues

Our team is here to help with your disabilities accommodation issues, vocational rehabilitation needs, ergonomic evaluations, and other employee needs.

For twenty years, we have been helping companies in the Pacific Northwest with worker injuries, disabilities, and other vocational challenges.  We are here to support you in this unprecedented era of teleworking and WFM.

We have partnered and provided solutions to some of the largest companies in the world (such as Boeing, Microsoft, and Amazon). But, at our core, we are still “people taking care of people,” one project at a time.  Our success is built upon and providing you the best solution to your workplace challenge.  Contact us today by filling out a form (below), submitting a referral, or visiting our ‘Contact Us‘ page to find your nearest office.



Ric Burd

Ric has been working in the industry since 2002, specializing in developing employer jobsite analysis and light duty programs, ergonomics consultations and adjustments, disability accommodations and providing effective return to work solutions. Ric is Matheson trained in Ergonomics and is a Certified Ergonomics Evaluation Specialist. He earned a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Psychology from Western Washington University and later his Master’s Degree, M.Ed., Education Counseling from Seattle Pacific University. Ric is currently a Registered Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor for the Department of Labor and Industries and has been a Certified Disability Manager Specialist since 2006.

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