Lately, my client roster is filling up with new federal contractors and I have been focused on getting them up to speed on all their new requirements. We focus on the elements of an AAP, recordkeeping, self-ID forms, posters, etc. When we are in the midst of making sure we have dotted every “i” and crossed every “t”, sometimes we lose sight of the bigger picture. Are we working towards creating an inclusive workforce that not only checks the compliance box, but makes a difference?
Each October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and it becomes a reminder to me to continue to work with my clients on the quality of their outreach and the meaningfulness of their programs. This year’s theme is “Inclusion Drives Innovation”. The poster is available for downloading or order a hard copy.
The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has created suggestions for not only how to celebrate NDEA Month, but how to keep disability inclusion going year-round.
• Create a display
• Feature NDEAM in social media activities
• Issue an NDEAM press release
• Participate in Disability Mentoring Day
• Establish an ERG
• Review policies for disability inclusion
• Train supervisors
• Educate employees
• Workforce Recruitment Program
• Ongoing outreach
Like many of the programs that your organization implements the key to success is consistent nurturing and a hands on approach. This is no different. Find an executive sponsor that will help drive the message home, find an internal resource that will consistently maintain the program and watch inclusion drive your business innovation.