Every October is designated as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by the United States Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). At Applied Development, the goals of NDEAM are central to our mission. “NDEAM celebrates America’s workers with disabilities both past and present, and emphasizes the importance of inclusive policies and practices to ensure that all Americans who want to work can work, and have access to services and support to enable them to do so,” writes the ODEP. We champion the rights of people of all abilities to work and communicate effectively. Here are three ways we support disability employment awareness throughout the year.
We offer direct services to support employees with disabilities.
Our diversability services provide the services that employees of diverse abilities need to succeed at work. These services include American Sign Language (ASL) Interpretation, Communication Access Real-time Translation (CART) Services, and Reader Services. Our ASL services provide an interpreter to translate spoken English into sign language. CART and reader services both utilize technology to allow Deaf or Hard-of-Hearing and low or limited vision employees to communicate effectively. The Department of Labor writes that with “accessible technology, it is easier than ever before for America’s employers to hire people with disabilities in high-demand jobs.” Clients for our diversability services include the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA), Department of Commerce,Defense Information Systems Agency (DISA), U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA), and Defense Logistics Agency (DLA).
However, employers have to be willing and able to provide these services. While this these accommodations are required in Federal Government jobs, they are not always available to all employees. Part of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to increase awareness about these services, and how simple and effective they can be. This way, diverse abilities are never a hindrance to hiring.
We help the federal government hire and retain employees with disabilities.
One section of our services speaks even more directly to disability employment awareness: our 504/508 Disability Compliance services. Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act, “prohibits federal agencies, programs, or activities from discriminating and requires reasonable accommodation for qualified individuals with disabilities,” including programs that receive federal financial assistance. According to the government, section 508, “requires Federal electronic and information technology to be accessible to people with disabilities, including employees and members of the public.” Our compliance services ensure that the federal government is an ideal employer for people with disabilities.
For the Diversity Management Operations Center, we recruit people with disabilities for the workforce. This provides a vital function within the DoD, ensuring that people who have talent and diverse abilities become employees. “Individuals with disabilities offer employers diverse perspectives on how to tackle challenges and achieve success,” says Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta.
We also manage 504/508 compliance complaints to make sure that employees are receiving the direct services they need to communicate effectively. Finally, we also ensure that government agencies comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act, which prohibits ability discrimination in employment, state and local government, public accommodations, commercial facilities, transportation and communications. We’re proud to provide this service in 23 states and Washington, D.C.
Learn more about our Diversability Services.