National Awareness Months

The DD Council participates in several national awareness months to help educate Iowans about issues that impact the disability community. Below you can find information about each of these months and our campaigns to help spread the word.

National Disability Employment Awareness Month

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM)! The purpose of National Disability Employment Awareness Month is to educate about disability employment issues and celebrate the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.

The history of National Disability Employment Awareness Month traces back to 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year "National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week." In 1962, the word "physically" was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

The 2021 theme is "America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion."

Learn more about how to participate in National Disability Employment Awareness Month and ways to promote its messages by visiting

2021 NDEAM Poster - English

NDEAM 2021 Advocate Employment Videos

This year we are excited to share stories of Iowans with disabilities who are making the most of their employment opportunities. They explain what their jobs are, how their jobs have impacted their lives, and why it's important for everyone to have the chance to work.

Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month

March is National Developmental Disability Awareness Month (DDAM). The purpose of National Disability Awareness Month is to raise awareness about the inclusion of people with developmental disabilities in all facets of community life, as well as awareness to the barriers that people with disabilities still sometimes face in connecting to the communities in which they live.

As of November 2020, there are more than 368,000 Iowans who have a disability; of those, more than 48,000 have a developmental disability (a mental or physical disability acquired before the age of 22).

Through various advocacy efforts, the Iowa Developmental Disability Council aims to ensure that Iowans with developmental disabilities and their families participate in the design of and have access to needed community services, individualized supports, and other forms of assistance that promote self-determination, independence, productivity, and integration and inclusion in all aspects of community life.

Learn more:


DDAM 2021 Video

The video below is a recording of the Iowa DD Council & Center for Disabilities and Development's virtual "Moving Towards Change" DDAM Celebration.