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Disability Employment Awareness Month is a great annual opportunity for you to validate your Members who have or will acquire disabilities and for you to proactively encourage people with disabilities to pursue careers within jobs covered by your Union. Here are some ideas for you to consider:

Photo of man working on a fork liftAlert Your Members — Whether on your website, in your newsletter, or through your social media activities, be sure to inform your Members about DEAM and direct them to our website.

Educate Your Members — In conjunction with DEAM, consider publishing or reprinting short educational articles that will enhance your Members’ awareness about disability and employment issues – and how Union members  with disabilities have been successful. Leading up to, or during the month of October, consider including DEAM-related content as part of any educational forums that you hold for your members. Several local disability organizations offer training programs on employment-related topics.

Take Part in the employABILITY Expo – A highlight of DEAM in Manitoba, the employABILITY Expo is a great opportunity to show your support of DEAM. The breakfast keynote is a great way to educate some of your employees. As an Exhibitor, you can connect with possible employees, network with other Exhibitors, and heighten your profile as a disability-friendly company. As a Sponsor, you can achieve high visibility as a company committed to inclusive employment practices.

Distribute DEAM posters — In today's world of electronic communication, sending something useful and tangible to members can make an impact and reinforce the value of their membership. Unions can use the occasion of DEAM to send their locals a link to the DEAM poster that they can post in appropriate work site locations.

Send a "President's Message" about DEAM — Union leaders can take advantage of DEAM to send a special email to members encouraging them to participate and providing information about how they can do so. Alternatively (or in addition), DEAM could be incorporated into speeches or the President's column in your organization's monthly publication.

Feature DEAM in Social Media Activities — DEAM provides an interesting hook for social media platforms, including Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter. For the latter, organizations are encouraged to include the hash tag #deammb.

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