National Disability Employment Awareness Month
The theme for 2022 National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) is “Disability: A part of the Equity Equation”. This theme recognizes the important, but often forgotten role that people with disabilities play on our diverse team and among our customer population. The goal of this month is to celebrate contributions of America’s workers and showcase support and inclusive practices, policies and behaviors for colleagues who are members of the disabled community. Established in 1998, NDEAM highlights the benefits of fostering a work environment that is flexible and open to the talents of all qualified individuals – including those with disabilities.
Although 61 million adults in the US live with a disability (encompassing all races, classes, and cultures), many people are unaware of the history of the disability movement. You can click on this link to get an overview of disability history and resources to enhance your awareness: Disability History: An Important Part of America’s Heritage.
Having various ability challenges is only a small part of what makes a disabled person who they are. Watch the “Who I Am” public service announcement to see how several individuals explain how they are the sum total of their full life experience.
We are uniquely positioned to help school leaders instill the expectation of employment in young people with disabilities. The “Because” public service announcement reinforces the importance of this message.
We can all learn to be more inclusive of our current and future disabled employees. Proper etiquette is one of many ways we can ensure we are welcoming and the employee is comfortable and productive in the workplace.
Personal Social Media Tips You Can Use to Help Be More Inclusive to the Disability Community
- Write social media posts informally and in plain language. Avoid abbreviations and spell out acronyms.
- Use @mentions to tag other organizations on social media and use relevant hashtags on keywords and phrases to categorize posts.
- For multi-word hashtags, capitalize the first letters of each section of a compound word (#LikeThisExample).
- Provide closed captioning for YouTube videos. You can do this automatically, or you can add and edit captions manually.
- Add captions to Facebook video posts. Make sure captions are turned on for live videos.
- Link to pages with full captions or transcripts of photos, videos or audio.
- Avoid using emojis, or at least refrain from using excessive emojis in posts.
- Describe your photos in the caption of social media posts on Instagram.
- Turn on image description settings in Twitter and compose descriptive text to make images accessible. Note that this setting doesn’t work for GIFs.
- Add and edit alternative text descriptions to images posted on Facebook.
- If possible, test your tweet with assistive technology before posting it.