Disability Employment Awareness Month (DEAM) is an annual campaign in October that promotes and raises awareness for inclusive hiring practices. Throughout the month, various events, campaigns, and initiatives share and promote the benefits of employing individuals with disabilities. DEAM aims to reduce barriers to employment for people with disabilities and create more inclusive workplaces across the province.
Here’s how people can get involved in Disability Employment Awareness Month in Alberta:
Take the time to educate yourself and others about the challenges faced by people with disabilities in the job market and the benefits of hiring a diverse workforce. There is a significant business benefit to hiring people with disabilities, and many are unaware of how it can help businesses grow. We have lots of information on this.
You can start by reading 10 ways hiring people with disabilities can help your business.
You can also read more about the Alberta Human Rights Act and how it protects people with disabilities from discrimination.
Promote disability employment!
If you see something about DEAM on social media, please share it! If you’re a business or organization, mention DEAM on your social media, blog, email newsletters, and other communication channels. The goal is to raise awareness among your networks and community.
If you share DEAM-related content on social media, use hashtags like #DEAMAlberta and #InclusionWorks to join the online conversation. If you want to post something, check out the DEAM social media graphics provided by the Alberta Government.
You can also promote DEAM by sharing stories of individuals with disabilities who have succeeded in the workplace. Personal stories can inspire others and highlight the value a diverse and inclusive workplace brings to organizations. You’ll find many success stories on the EmployAbilities blog!
Participate in DEAM events!
There will be DEAM events and activities happening in your community or workplace. These may include seminars, workshops, webinars, and networking events focusing on disability employment and inclusion. Events are happening across the province, including the DEAM Ideas conference at the end of October.
You can find more information on events here: https://www.alberta.ca/disability-employment-awareness-month
Advocate for inclusion!
Whether you’re an employer or a passionate person in the community, you can advocate for disability employment. Encourage employers to participate in DEAM by adopting inclusive hiring practices, providing accommodations, and actively recruiting individuals with disabilities. Advocate for policies and practices that promote inclusion and equal opportunities for people with disabilities in your workplace, community, or industry.
You can partner with disability advocacy organizations (like EmployAbilities), government agencies, and community groups to support DEAM initiatives and promote inclusive hiring practices. Don’t hesitate to contact us if you’d like to get involved with EmployAbilities and our DEAM celebrations!
Change your company policies and procedures
If you are an employer or part of a leadership team, consider developing or updating your company’s policies and practices to be more inclusive and accommodating for employees with disabilities.
In addition, you can start organizing inclusive hiring initiatives during DEAM. You can run job fairs, develop internship programs, or partnerships with disability-focused employment services like EmployAbilities.