National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is an annual awareness campaign led by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy.
The purpose is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.
In an effort to raise community awareness and show support of NDEAM and its message, the Laurens County School District 55 (LCSD 55) Interagency Committee hosted an event on September 28 at Laurens District 55 High School. Mayors Stellertean Jones of Gray Court, Bob McLean of Clinton, and Nathan Senn of Laurens were on hand, and each signed a proclamation reinforcing the value and talent people with disabilities add to our workplaces, communities, and economy.
“Laurens 55 is proud to be a supporter of National Disability Employment Awareness Month,” said Dr. Ameca Thomas, Superintendent. “We want to help support our individuals with disabilities and celebrate their successes.”
The theme for NDEAM 2021, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the economic recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.
The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year as National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week. In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.