October will see a celebration of individuals with disabilities in the workplace in Arkansas and across the nation. National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) kicks off in Texarkana, Arkansas on Wednesday, October 2, at 11:30 AM at the Texarkana, Arkansas City Hall.

Governor Asa Hutchinson has proclaimed October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month throughout the state of Arkansas and Texarkana, Arkansas Mayor Alan Brown will present a proclamation declaring October as NDEAM in Texarkana.

The U.S. Department of Labor has announced "The Right Talent, Right Now" as the theme for the 2019 National Disability Employment Awareness Month. This year’s theme emphasizes the essential role that people with disabilities play in Arkansas and America's economic success, especially in an era when historically low unemployment and global competition are creating a high demand for skilled talent.

“We are excited to see so many new avenues opening up in Arkansas and across the nation for individuals with disabilities to work with so many supportive employers,” said Alan McClain, Commissioner for Arkansas Rehabilitation Services. “Every day, we see the talent that individuals with disabilities add to our workforce, but this is the time of year when we want to spotlight their value to our state and our economy.”

Observed annually in October, NDEAM celebrates America's workers with disabilities both past and present. This month 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 supports to enable them to do so. With continued advances in such supports, including accessible technology, it is easier than ever before for America's employers to hire people with disabilities in high-demand jobs.

NDEAM traces its beginnings to 1945 when Congress declared the first week in October, "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the use of the word "physically" ceased in order to include individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to NDEAM.