Increasing Access and Opportunity
The U.S. Department of Labor recently announced that “Increasing Access and Opportunity” is the 2020 theme for October’s annual observance of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM).
This year is the nation’s 75th observance of NDEAM, which is administered by the Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The observance culminates the Department’s commemoration of the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).
“Ensuring that America’s workplaces continue to include and accommodate people with disabilities will be an important part of our economic rebound,” said U.S. Secretary of Labor Eugene Scalia. “Looking ahead, the Department will remain focused on the policies that lead to a strong economy and record-low unemployment rates for persons with disabilities prior to the pandemic. A vigorous economic rebound and job growth will, alongside the Americans with Disabilities Act, increase access and opportunity for Americans with disabilities.”
Each October, NDEAM celebrates America’s workers with disabilities and reminds employers of the importance of inclusive hiring practices. In 1945, Congress declared the first week of October “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was dropped to include individuals with all types of disabilities. Congress expanded the week to a month in 1988, and changed the commemoration to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
With its 2001 establishment, ODEP assumed responsibility for NDEAM. The agency’s efforts include selection of NDEAM’s annual theme, announced earlier in the year to enable organizations nationwide to plan their own observances. Employers of any size, in any industry—as well as community organizations, advocacy groups and schools—are encouraged to participate.
For more information about NDEAM, including ideas for how your organization can participate, visit dol.gov/ndeam. The website also features the 2020 NDEAM poster, highlighting ADA’s 30th anniversary.
Organizations frequently come to us to seek direction on which accessibility standards are enough to make their documents compliant. At accessible PDF we always advise to adhere to PDF U/A ( Universal Accessibility). It is the first complete definition of requirements for universally accessible PDF documents.
These clear specifications also define compliant assistive technology and PDF reading software.
When it comes to apps and and website accessibility, there is a clear history of ADA and a roadmap to accessibility provided by using the WCAG Standard. The DOJ, settlement agreements and the courts have documented the WCAG as the recognized standard for web and app accessibility, for more than 20 years. PDF U/A is now the direction for PDF.
It is possible for every PDF to follow the PDF U/A standard and publish accessible content if PDF.
Now is the time for companies to move forward with accessibility, remediate to PDF U/A compliance and make the digital world inclusive.
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