75th ndeam

This month marks 75 years since the introduction of the National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).

Each October Bona Vista celebrates NDEAM, which is an initiative of the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). This year’s theme for the month is “Increasing Access and Opportunity” and focuses on promoting inclusive hiring practices, while recognizing the many employment goals for people with disabilities.

The struggles of this year’s pandemic have presented a unique opportunity for employers to develop flexibility in employee relations and in general operations. The NDEAM initiative is highlighting the adaptability of employees with disabilities to illustrate this applicant pool’s value in today’s workforce.

“People with disabilities are experienced problem solvers with a proven ability to adapt,” said ODEP Deputy Assistant Secretary Jennifer Sheehy. “(NDEAM) celebrates the ingenuity people with disabilities bring to America’s workplaces.”

Bona Vista’s Workforce Diversity department is our arm of services that assists clients with employment: identifying areas of strength and interest, preparation of job skills, and attaining employment through community partnerships. We have programs to prepare clients for interviews and employment but also rely heavily on employers in our community to support us in placement.

Meredith Freeman is Bona Vista’s Vice President of Vocational and Day Services. She has been with the agency for 10 years and leads our employment services program. The relationships that this team has with our community partners are what enhances our clients’ experiences.

“Our Workforce Diversity department is so thankful to work with local businesses that support the Bona Vista mission by hiring our clients to be their outstanding employees,” said Freeman.

This year’s NDEAM initiative is calling on businesses, community organizations and schools to participate in increasing awareness about the need for employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Bona Vista will continue this mission. We welcome anyone interested in partnering as an employer to contact our Workforce Diversity department at 765-454-5997 or www.bonavista.org.