Darke DD Joins Broad Effort to Observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month

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Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities announced its participation in National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual awareness campaign that takes place each October. The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme is “Advancing Access and Equity.

“We are very excited to showcase our individuals that are employed during October,” stated Darke DD Superintendent Tonya Clark. “Through collaboration and inclusive thinking, we want to continue to spread the important message that all people are valued, including those of individuals with disabilities. We hope these efforts will result in more success stories in the future,” she continued. Watch for these stories in future articles and on our agency’s Facebook page.

The history of NDEAM traces back to 1945 when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “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.

“Employing individuals with disabilities not only allows individuals to contribute as an active employee but also benefits our community as a whole. During the labor crisis, employing individuals with disabilities can also help fill those open gaps in employment,” said Superintendent Clark.

There are currently 68 individuals with developmental disabilities employed by 52 employers in Darke County. This represents a 25% increase in the number of people employed and an increase of 30% in the number of employers hiring people with developmental disabilities in the last 6 years. Darke DD serves approximately 475 eligible children and adults in Darke County through a wide range of services and supports. For additional information, visit www.darkedd.org. To view the 2023 NDEAM stories, follow the Darke County Board of Developmental Disabilities on Facebook.

Employers and employees in all industries can learn more about NDEAM by visiting www.dol.gov/ndeam.