A strong workforce is the sum of many parts and perspectives, and this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month theme, “Disability: Part of the Equity Equation,” celebrates the essential role individuals with disabilities play in the workplace.
Disability is and always has been part of the rich diversity of our nation, and, by extension, our workforce. During NDEAM, we celebrate the contributions of people with disabilities, past and present. We also commit to ensuring all workers, including workers with disabilities, have equal opportunity to gain skills and put them to work in inclusive, supportive workplaces going forward.
This year’s NDEAM theme also honors the significant diversity within the disability community. At the department, we are committed to advancing not only employment for people with disabilities, but also equity in how we do so. We want all people with disabilities, from all backgrounds, to have equal opportunities to work and thrive.
Organizations of all sizes and in all industries are encouraged to participate in NDEAM, and the Office of Disability Employment Policy offers a variety of resources to help. Learn more about the spirit of NDEAM and how you can celebrate in this video:
Colorado is especially committed to employing individuals with disabilities, through various laws and initiatives as well as the Disability Program Navigator pilot program. The Disability Program Navigator (DPN) is a subject matter expert on disability issues as well as the liaison between the workforce center and local Department of Vocational Rehabilitation (DVR) office. Arapahoe/Douglas Works! is one of the first four participating regions and has worked with over 100 individuals with disabilities and co-enrolled over 40 individuals in both Workforce and DVR services. Due to the success of the pilot sites, the DPN program will be state-wide by the end of this calendar year.
In observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month, Arapahoe/Douglas Works! is hosting an inclusive hiring event at the Lima Workforce Center on October 26th, 2022. The DPN from Arapahoe/Douglas Works! will also attend a state-wide workforce development conference and present to other workforce development professionals about the successes and challenges of the program.