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The Team at ALSO

October 25, 2023

Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2023: A Triumph for the Community

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This year’s theme is Advancing Access and Equity. 2023 is particularly exciting because it also commemorates 50 years since the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. What we’ve learned since then is that an inclusive workforce is a better and stronger workforce; and this is a triumph for employers, people with disabilities, and the community.

What is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)?

An intellectually disabled employee stocks soda boxes in a grocery store.

Tracing back to 1945, NDEAM honors the many contributions of individuals living with disabilities have made to the employment landscape, the nation’s economy, and the whole of society. Led by the US Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, NDEAM serves to educate the public regarding:

  • Benefits of supporting equal employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
  • Best practices in creating inclusive workplaces.
  • Progress that has been made in disability rights and disability employment issues.
  • Existing challenges that people with disabilities face in achieving equal opportunity.
  • That reasonable accommodations and assisting with other employment needs are easily achievable and frequently inexpensive or no-cost.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: Low-cost assistive technology for people with disabilities

Supported Employment Services From ALSO

ALSO is a premier service provider for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. We are dedicated to assisting the people we support in reaching their full potential in employment, education, and community integration. Our person-centered approach honors the unique career goals and aspirations of each individual. ALSO direct support professionals (DSPs) and employment specialists work collaboratively to match employers with qualified applicants that fit business requirements and company culture.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCE: ALSO Employment Services Throughout Oregon

Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities

Retention and Reliability

The people that we support at ALSO are often incredibly reliable. When jobs are a good fit, many want to work with the same employer and at the same job for as long as possible. During the pandemic, employers truly felt the importance of having staff with these qualities.

Employers can trust that ALSO DSPs, job coaches, and employment specialists do everything possible to ensure a good employee-employer match that benefits all parties.

Work Opportunity Tax Credit (WOTC)

The WOTC is a federal government program that provides tax credits for hiring individuals of certain groups that have historically experienced significant barriers to competitive employment. This includes individuals with various types of disabilities that are receiving vocational rehabilitation services.

Improving Customer Service and Satisfaction

As business owners (as well as consumers), the value of customer satisfaction is well-known. But did you know that workplace diversity is a major factor in improving customer satisfaction?

Employees coming from diverse backgrounds, including those with disabilities, are naturally more attuned to customer needs and values, thus creating an important competitive edge.

Transforming Company Culture

It’s easy to see how employing persons with disabilities make a positive impact on their financial independence and well-being. It’s important to note that inclusive hiring practices benefit all employees. Chaz Volavka, ALSO Employment Director, says it well:

“We often hear that hiring employees with disabilities has improved the company culture. They are recognized as valuable contributors. Through enthusiasm and pride, they cultivate strong co-worker relationships, communicate purpose and passion, and are reliable. They have a sense of purpose and are thriving in their community.”

How Employers Can Support People with Disabilities


We love the idea of employers embracing our Mission. Here’s how public, non-profit, and private sector employers can continue the forward momentum of competitive employment for individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities:

  • Job Carving: analyzing the work duties involved in a job and identifying what tasks could be assigned to that employee.
  • Job Opportunity Notifications: ALSO has several candidates who are highly motivated to become excellent employees. Many employers have benefited from informing us when openings arise.
  • Spread the word: If you’re already an employer partner…thank you! Inform other potential employers about the advantages of working with ALSO.

ADDITIONAL RESOURCES: Benefits of Hiring People with Disabilities and About Competitive Integrated Employment

Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month with ALSO!

A developmentally disabled man and DSP worker from ALSO clasp hands in a handshake.

So, why is it important to celebrate NDEAM? Essentially, it’s a WIN-WIN for everyone involved, including both the employer and employees with disabilities.

When an employer hires someone with disabilities it is a symbiotic relationship that benefits both parties.”

-Lindsay Meadows, ALSO Administrative and Events Manager

Partner with ALSO today to carry on the NDEAM theme of Advancing Access and Equity.


  1. United States Department of Labor and Employment (USDOL) (n.d.) National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
  1. United States Department of Labor and Employment (USDOL) (n.d.) National Disability Employment Awareness Month. [Video]. Office of Disability and Employment Policy.
  2. Job accommodation network. (2023, May 4). Costs and benefits of accommodation. Accommodation and compliance: Low-cost high impact.
  3. Arnold, J.T. (2013, August 1). HR Technology: Give Employees with Disabilities an Assist: A new generation of tools offers a variety of low-cost accommodation options. Society for Human Resources Management.
  4. Internal Revenue Service[IRS] (n.d.) Work Opportunity Tax Credit.
  5. Aichner, T. The economic argument for hiring people with disabilities. Humanit Soc Sci Commun 8, 22 (2021).
  6. Griffin, C. (n.d.) Job carving:  A guide for job developers and employment specialists.
  7. US Department of Labor (n.d.). Competitive integrated employment (CIE)




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