National Disability Employment Awareness Month – Maine Activities

Maine Department of Labor logoAccording to Disability Rights Maine, October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) and the National Disability Rights Network (NDRN) has called on Congress, the Administration, and state policy leaders to work toward the employment of people with disabilities in jobs that pay a competitive wage and are integrated.

According to the NDEAM website, the theme for NDEAM 2021, “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion,” reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement during the national recovery from the COVID-19 pandemic.

NDEAM is held each October to commemorate the many and varied contributions of people with disabilities to America’s workplaces and economy. Browse our website for ideas and resources for employers, community organizations, state and local governments, advocacy groups and schools to participate in celebrating NDEAM through events and activities centered around the theme of “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.”

To celebrate NDEAM in Maine, the Bureau of Rehabilitative Services has published a list of activities of interest to Maine. Here are some highlights:

October 18/20, 2021 – State Rehabilitation Councils – Annual Meetings

State Rehabilitation Council for the Blind and Visually Impaired and the State Rehabilitation Council (General) hold their annual meetings virtually and open to the public over the course of these two days. For more information, contact Cheryl Peabody

October 20, 2021 – Virtual Job Club

Virtual Job Club for students ages 14-21 – Fun, multi-week sessions to help youth and young adults build skills and prepare for the world of work! For More Information, contact

October 20, 2021 – ODEP – NDEAM Celebration!

US Secretary of Labor Marty Walsh and Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Taryn Williams celebrate NDEAM –  2 p.m. – 3 p.m. This exciting event will feature insightful dialogues and a video showcase highlighting strategies in action for an equitable disability inclusive recovery. Featured guests include: Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs Director Jenny Yang and Deputy Assistant Secretary for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy. Use this link for more information and to register for the NDEAM Celebration.

October 20, 2021 – Career Exploration Event with Clark Phinney, Goodwill NNE.

Tune in for a live interview on Thursday, October 20 at 4:00 PM to hear Clark Phinney talk about the work environment and culture at Goodwill NNE. Goodwill offers a wide variety of job positions at various locations around the state, to include retail, Community and Employment Support services. Use this Zoom link to attend the event with Clark Phinney.  Webinar ID: 836 8244 7678. This event will be recorded.

October 21,2021: 1:00 PM  – Career Exploration Event – Video Game Analyst

Josh Dieckmann a Video Game Analyst for Epic Games, the makers of FortNite, talks about what it’s like to work as a Video Game Analyst. Josh is a Maine high school graduate, talk about his career as a Video Game Professional — an Analyst for FORTNITE. Use this link to Tune in for a live interview on Thursday, October 21 at 1:00 PM – 2:00 pm. Webinar ID: 820 4159 3574. This event will be recorded.

October 26, 2021 MADSEC Fall Conference

“Pre-Employment Transition Services: Partnering with Vocational Rehabilitation Early to Promote Successful Transition” with Libby Stone-Sterling, Director, Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Brenda Drummond, Director, Division for the Blind & Visually Impaired. Use this link for more information about the MADSEC Fall Conference.

October 27, 2021 Career Exploration Event with Susan Brunig

Pixar Colorist, Susan Brunig fell in love with Cinema studying avant-garde film at Binghamton University. She went on to get her MFA from San Francisco State University and for the past fifteen years she’s worked in Color Grading at Pixar Animation Studios. Her credits include such Oscar-winning feature films as Up, Inside Out, Coco, Soul and more. Most recently, her work on Pixar’s Luca was featured in Digital Vision World’s Artist in the Spotlight. A screenwriter in her spare time, she is a NYWIFT Writers Lab Alum, a Cinestory Feature Fellowship winner and an Academy Nicholl Fellowship Semi-finalist.  Use this link to Tune in for the live interview on October 27 at 10:00 am – 11:00 am. Webinar ID: 831 2285 6822. NOTE: This event will not be recorded.

October 28, 2021 – Career Exploration Event with Michael Paradis, Retired Civil Engineer

Michael Paradis is a graduate of Fort Kent Community High School and the University of Maine’s Engineering program. Learn about his career path — from high school to college to professional engineer.  Use this link to Tune in for the live interview on October 28 at 1:00 – 2:00 pm. Webinar ID: 881 3828 3029. This event will be recorded.

October 28, 2021 – BRS Stakeholders’ Forum

Join Leaders from the Bureau of Rehabilitation Services – including Division of Vocational Rehabilitation and Division for the Blind and Visually Impaired – to learn more about services and programs available.  Use this link to attend the NRS Stakeholders’ Forum on October 28 at 1:00 – 2:00 pm. ASL and CART provided.

October 28, 2021 – Employment First 2.0 Forum

Offered from 3:30 – 5:00 pm, this event is hosted by the Employment First Maine Coalition & Disability Rights Maine. Please register for this event using this link.

October 29, 2021 – Reverse Job Fair – Direct Care Positions

After a great month of learning and exploration, we invite Job Seekers and Employers to participate in a Reverse Job Fair. Job Seekers who want to work in direct care positions will share their interest, knowledge and skills and discuss opportunities with businesses who hire for these positions and have openings. The employers will be given the chance to ask questions, meet with you privately, or schedule a formal interview. This is your chance to shine, so dress to impress, and bring your best selves!