NDEAM and the Dream of Equal Opportunity in the Workplace

NISTE logo with where we've been- October

By Jonathan Lucus, Executive Director, NSITE

Those of you who follow us know that October is a month of recognition for National Disability Employment Awareness Month. “Advancing Access and Equity” is this year’s NDEAM theme to honor the abilities of all people. Given that NSITE’s mission is to facilitate the employment of blind and low vision talent, it is an observance worth noting, in a month with something always happening for our team and me. 

First, let me say that NDEAM is an important and valuable recognition for the attention it draws to a level playing field for all in the workplace. In its 78 years in existence, we, as a country, have made great strides in equality and accessibility, but there is still much to be done. 

In NSITE’s recent national survey, we learned that 63 percent of respondents did not believe or were unsure if their company actively recruited disabled candidates. Think about that for a minute. 

Almost two-thirds of workers don’t believe or are unaware of disability recruitment efforts in their place of employment. This number really underscores the importance of NSITE’s mission and commitment to equal opportunities for all job candidates. 

This month, we’re sharing that message wherever we go, and ask you to advocate equal opportunities for all employees at your place of business. Isn’t it time to make NDEAM’s dream, a reality?

Where you can find NSITE this NDEAM Month:

  • Catch us at the American Printing House’s (APH) 155th Annual Meeting where we’ll be speaking at the breakfast meeting October 6. The American Printing House for the Blind has created specialized materials, products and services for people who are blind and visually impaired since 1879. We are proud to partner with them on our Job Seeker’s Toolkit and other program materials.
  • The following week, NSITE is attended the NIB Conference, October 9-12 where I’ll be speaking to my colleagues working toward better employment opportunities for blind and low vision talent.
  • We also attended the M-Enabling Summit where technology that allows greater independence and accessibility will be showcased and discussed – obviously something we are keenly interested in.
  • We be introduced NSITE to the workforce at Freddie Mac and also at the Consumer Tech Foundation Roundtable on the 18th.  
  • And at the end of the month, we are traveling to Vermont, where  we will be meeting with elected officials and others who have prioritized accessibility in the state. You’ll be hearing more about this as we get closer to our trip to the Green Mountain State. 

Participating in conferences and spreading this important message not only supports accessibility for those with low vision or blindness but continues to remind corporations and non-profits alike that shifting perceptions about people with disabilities will only come once each person is included and valued for their contributions to society.