National Disability Employment Awareness Month

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

In October 2020, the ABA celebrates the 75th observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month

About NDEAM

The American Bar Association (ABA) is actively participating in National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October and celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates them about the value of a diverse workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.  In recognition of the contributions lawyers and judges with disabilities make to the legal profession and to encourage law firms, judiciaries, and other legal employers to make disability diversity and inclusion a priority, the ABA’s Board of Governors recognized October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year’s NDEAM theme is "Inclusion Drives Innovation.”

Throughout the month, lawyers with disabilities and disability rights advocates will share their thoughts on this year’s theme.  The ABA's Commission on Disability Rights (CDR) invites legal employers to promote this year’s theme by joining our 200 signatories—corporations, law firms, law schools, municipalities, judiciaries, and nonprofit organizations that have pledged to increase disability diversity throughout the legal profession—and signing our Pledge for Change: Disability Diversity in the Workplace.  Signatories are encouraged to share their stories about how signing the Pledge has increased disability awareness and inclusion in their law firm, which CDR will feature on our website.  

Resolution on NDEAM

WHEREAS, the American Bar Association has as one of its four Goals to promote full and equal participation in the Association, our profession, and the justice system by all persons and eliminate bias in the legal profession and the justice system.

WHEREAS, each October, National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is a national campaign led by the U.S. Department of Labor’s (DOL) Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

NOW, THEREFORE, IT IS, RESOLVED, that in recognition of the contributions lawyers and judges with disabilities make to the legal profession and to encourage law firms, judiciaries, and other legal employers to make disability diversity and inclusion a priority, the Board of Governors of the American Bar Association proclaims October the National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

A Statement from ABA President Trish Refo

Video: Why Hire People With Disabilities?

NDEAM 2020 Infographic

To commemorate October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the Commission on Disability Rights (CDR) has created this infographic to highlight the disparity between the employment of people with disabilities and those without.

Click here to view the Infographic (Accessible PDF format)
(Statistics via US Department of Labor)

Click here to read President Judy Perry Martinez's statement for NDEAM 2019

NDEAM 2019 Event

Inclusive Technology: Enabling Accessibility at Work and in Our Digital Lives

Technology is an essential tool in making the workplace and the world accessible for people with many types of disabilities - yet many of us are only aware of these issues in passing. This practical training from two experts explains how accessible technology works, why it is so essential, and how to ensure that nobody is left out when you assemble your programs, websites, workspaces, and content. Click here to see the training.

Patricia Kinaga

Patricia Kinaga

“Asians and Pacific Islanders (APIs) with disabilities are often invisible due to cultural stigma and language barriers. As Chair of Asians and Pacific Islanders with Disabilities of California, I am honored to play a small part in helping to provide a face and voice for APIs with disabilities. I am honored play a small part in working towards inclusion for all of communities, linked together through learning, respect, and love.”

  Stephanie Ortoleva

Stephanie Ortoleva

“During a recent trip to India to work on issues around sexual and gender-based violence, one afternoon I was doing a training on these issues at a school for students who are blind to teach assistive technology and other skills to high school students who study in mainstream schools. One young blind woman approached me after the presentation to ask for my advice for her future career goals. She did not realize that like her, I too am blind. Then she said: “You mean I too really can be a lawyer?” “Yes, yes, you can be whatever you want to be!”

Additional  Resources

Past Programs

2018: Building an Inclusive Workplace
Click here to read the ABA's statement for NDEAM 2018.

2017: People with Disabilities: Driving Innovation in the Workplace

2016: How Do I Tell Them? Coming Out About Mental Illness in the Workplace