Goodwill of Greater Washington Joins DOL in Recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month
2015 Theme is ‘My Disability Is One Part of Who I Am’
WASHINGTON — Goodwill of Greater Washington (Goodwill) is once again pleased to be joining the Department of Labor in celebration of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) throughout October. This year’s theme: “My Disability Is One Part of Who I Am.”
“This year’s theme encapsulates the important message that people with disabilities are just that — people,” said Jennifer Sheehy, acting assistant secretary of labor for disability employment policy. “And like all people, we are the sum of many parts, including our work experiences. Disability is an important perspective we bring to the table, but, of course, it’s not the only one.”
National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a nationwide campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the contributions of America’s workers with disabilities, past and present. Each spring, the year’s theme is announced to help workplaces, individuals and communities begin planning activities.
The 2015 theme echoes the ODEP-funded Campaign for Disability Employment’s “Who I Am” television public service announcement, currently in national distribution. This announcement features nine diverse people with disabilities — some obvious and some not — sharing the many ways they describe themselves, from personal interests to family relationships to occupations. Among them is actor RJ Mitte, known for his work on AMC’s critically acclaimed series “Breaking Bad.”
“Goodwill of Greater Washington is proud to join the DOL in recognition of the significant contributions and achievements of workers with disabilities”, said Brendan Hurley, Goodwill of Greater Washington Chief Marketing Officer. “We will do all we can to spread the word to Goodwill constituents and beyond.”
Goodwill will be sharing information about NDEAM on its website, social media channels, email and street signage. Additionally, throughout the month of October, American Airlines is challenging Goodwill retail customers to match its $15,000 investment in the charity’s job-training programs by rounding up their purchases to the nearest dollar.
Goodwill is also holding a drawing for American Airlines AAdvantage® mileage certificates for online donors who make a gift to Goodwill on October 8th. Over the past two years American Airlines has generously invested $25,000 into Goodwill’s workforce development programs helping people in the Washington, DC region achieve independence through employment.
NDEAM dates back to 1945, when Congress declared the first week in October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” The word “physically” was deleted in 1962 to acknowledge individuals with all types of disabilities. The week was expanded to a month by Congress in 1988 and its name was also changed to NDEAM. When ODEP was created in 2001, it was given responsibility for NDEAM, including selection of its annual theme.