Annual Light It Up! For NDEAM

Light It Up for NDEAM!
Looking down the walkway inside an old brick railroad tunnel that's illuminated purple.
Canada’s first railway tunnel, Brockville, ON

Join the Light It Up! For NDEAM national movement!  

Light It Up! For NDEAM® is the main event of ODEN’s annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) campaign. It spotlights the many ways people who have a disability contribute to businesses and their communities, helping companies be successful and competitive. 

This nationwide event happens the third Thursday of every October. 

But Light It Up! For NDEAM is more than a night; more than a lighting event. It has quickly become a movement that ignites conversation about disability inclusion in employment, across Canada. 

There’s no other event quite like this one during NDEAM! See the full list of 2022 participating locations here. 

It happens through nationwide collaboration between ODEN, the Canadian Association for Supported Employment and MentorAbility Canada, the federal government, municipal and provincial governments, Jobs Ability Canada and community-based agencies. 

It’s this collective effort that makes Light It Up! For NDEAM happen in big cities, small towns and rural communities from coast, to coast to coast.  Each year, you can get involved in your community  to Light It Up! For NDEAM purple and blue, for one unique night. The more the participation, the greater the impact. 


In 2022, there was phenomenal, record participation in Light It Up! For NDEAM. 

Almost 440 locations in almost 120 communities across Canada illuminated purple and blue. 

Get ready now for the next Light It Up! For NDEAM — Thursday, October 19, 2023! 

Participating in Light It Up! For NDEAM is easy 

We make it easy to get involved. The Light It Up! For NDEAM PR Kit has all the resources you need to learn about the event, spread the word about it, submit lighting requests and show your support by wearing purple and blue the day of Light It Up! for NDEAM. 

The full Light It Up! For NDEAM PR Kit is available (in English and French) starting in late June of each calendar year, when we officially kick off Light It Up! For NDEAM for the year.

Be proactive. The more engagement, the greater the impact of Light It Up! For NDEAM. 

Go ahead. Get a conversation started. If you want to be proactive and start engaging businesses and local governments now about getting involved in the Light It Up! for NDEAM movement, you can use this lighting request template (English version | French version) to reach out to them. 

And you can watch and share this Light It Up! For NDEAM highlights video to start conversations and generating excitement in your community, now! 

Our FAQs page answers a few key questions about how Light It Up! For NDEAM works. 

Want to start submitting locations, or confirmation your participation in Light It Up! For NDEAM 2023 now?

Send an email to and include **Light It Up! For NDEAM 2023 Submission** in the subject line. 

A Brief History of Light It Up! For NDEAM 


  • In 16 cities all over Ontario, 28 buildings, bridges, landmarks and municipal signs shone purple and blue for one night (Thursday, October 22). Some businesses in St. John’s, NL, also participated. 
  • First-ever, Ontario wide event of its kind during National Disability Employment Awareness Month


  • The first national Light It Up! For NDEAM 
  • Across Canada, over 300 locations across all 10 provinces and in two territories, shone purple and blue on Thursday, October 21 
  • The federal governement participated, illuminating 35 federal buildings nationwide 
  • Through Light It Up! For NDEAM, National Disability Employment Awareness Month was officially recognized for the first time in some regions of the country. 
  • Nationwide, the event sparked conversation about the business benefits and economic importance of disability-inclusive hiring. 


  • Second national Light It Up! For NDEAM 
  • Evolution from a lighting event to a movement about disability inclusion in business and employment 
  • Federal government participated, illuminating 36 federal department buildings across Canada 
  • Government of Ontario participates for the first time, illuminating five buildings, in Peterborough, St. Catharines, Toronto, Orillia and Guelph 
  • Record participation  — almost 440 locations in almost 120 communities nationwide 

Light It Up! For NDEAM Photo & Video Gallery

From the Terry Fox Memorial at Mile Zero in St. John’s, to the Vancouver Convention Centre on the West Coast, we’ve put together a collection of some of the best images of structures and landmarks around the country that have illuminated purple and blue for Light It Up! For NDEAM.

Visit the gallery

Watch and share these Light It Up! For NDEAM highlights videos:

A photograph of a giant iron ore haul truck lit purple and blue, including the tires and wheel rims. There is a lighted sign across the front of the dumper that says, "Light It Up! For NDEAM". There are also graphics that say National Disability Employment Awareness Month, on the truck.