Light It Up! For NDEAM — Frequently Asked Questions

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What is Light It Up! For NDEAM®?

Light It Up! For NDEAM is a one-night, national co-ordinated special lighting event in recognition of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM); and the many ways people who have a disability contribute to businesses and communities across Canada, and help companies be successful and competitive. It has fast-become a movement that ignites conversation about disability inclusion in employment, in business and in our communities.

Light It Up! For NDEAM was started in 2020 by the Ontario Disability Employment Network (ODEN) as part of its flagship annual NDEAM campaign. The first Light It Up! For NDEAM was an Ontario-wide event. It went national in 2021.

ODEN leads Light It Up! For NDEAM. But the event happens with your involvement. It happens nationwide through collaborative participation by ODEN, the Canadian Association for Supported Employment (CASE), MentorAbility Canada, Jobs Ability Canada, the federal government, and other community organizations and agencies across the country.

This unique national NDEAM event happens the third Thursday of every October. 

How does Light It Up! For NDEAM work?

For this lighting event, both the Light It Up! For NDEAM National Campaign Co-ordinator (NCC) and local community-based agencies that are participating in Light It Up! For NDEAM, submit special lighting requests.

The NCC typically handles the requests for landmarks and city halls in major centres across Canada. These include, for example, the Calgary Tower, Niagara Falls, the CN Tower, Charlottetown City Hall Clock Tower and the High Level Bridge in Edmonton.

Lighting requests for Light It Up! for NDEAM 2023 have been ongoing since early January, and continue into September.

Local agencies may have a better idea of certain landmarks that accept special lighting requests. We’ve created a Survey Monkey form (in English and French) to help you easily enter key information about lighting requests. Every time you submit a request, please fill out the form. It will help us make sure there’s no overlap in the collective effort on lighting requests, and know how many cities/towns and landmarks are participating in Light It Up! For NDEAM.

If lighting requests for a landmark in a major centre are accepted only from local community organizations, they submit those requests. They also engage with their local businesses to participate in Light It Up! For NDEAM. Agencies are also encouraged to engage with mayors and councillors, as well as Members of Provincial Parliament/Members of the Legislative Assembly, about participating in Light It Up! For NDEAM. The more you do locally, the more structures will be lit up across the country, and the more successful Light It Up! For NDEAM will be!

People can also wear purple and blue to support Light It Up! For NDEAM. This is a great way for businesses and municipal staff to participate in the event if there’s no physical capability to specially light buildings purple and blue. It’s also a great additional way for your team to participate. We provide print-ready apparel artwork that can be printed locally on t-shirts, hoodies, buttons, sweaters, jackets…the sky’s the limit!

What are we lighting up for Light It Up! For NDEAM?

Bridges (such as the High Level Bridge in Edmonton and Reconciliation Bridge in Calgary); commercial/industrial buildings; landmarks (such as the CN Tower, Calgary Tower, and Niagara Falls); and airport control towers, city and town halls, libraries, museums, schools, universities and interactive municipal signs (such as the “Ottawa” sign in the Byward Market and the “Timmins” sign in Timmins, ON).

What do we do the day and night of Light It Up! For NDEAM?

Have fun! Wear purple and blue. Go out to locations that are lit purple and blue, and take photos. Take selfies, too! Tweet them on your Twitter account, using the event hashtags. If you have a Facebook and/or a LinkedIn account, post your Light It Up! For NDEAM selfies on those channels, too!

I’ve never done this before. How do I submit special lighting requests for Light It Up! For NDEAM?

This is a great question! The process differs, depending on the municipality/location/
landmark. For some locations, submissions must be made through an online form, or a downloadable PDF form. Some municipalities require both the completion of a submission form and a letter to City or Town Council. In other locations, you can just send an email. (You can use the customizable email templates we’ve provided.)

If at any time you need assistance, the Light It Up! For NDEAM team is available to guide and support you. Email us at

Timelines for requests can vary widely. With some locations you have to submit requests at least four weeks in advance. Some, three months in advance. In general, submit your lighting requests as early as possible, to make sure the October date is secured. If the date isn’t available, make a note to apply for the following year.

When you submit lighting requests, you may need to provide the RGB colours. See below for information on the colour specifications.

Who do I submit Light It Up! For NDEAM lighting requests to?

It depends.

  • For municipal structures/signs/bridges/libraries:
    • If there’s an online or PDF form you fill out and submit electronically, that usually goes to the City/Town Clerk’s Office, or the Community Relations Department.
    • If lighting requests are accepted by email, there may be a specific email address indicated, that you must send your request to.
    • The Mayor’s Office, Chief Administrative Officer/Town Manager, Mayor’s/CAO’s Executive Assistant, City/Town Clerk are also appropriate people to contact.
  • For commercial office towers/buildings:
    • It’s the property management company/property manager that you need to reach out to.
    • If you need help finding out who the property manager is, contact the NCC.
  • For small businesses: reach out to the owner/proprietor
  • For larger companies in your community:
    • Visit their website for contact names: the Communications/PR Director, the President, Chief Operating Officer, Operations Manager
  • For art galleries/museums: the Curator/Director/CEO
  • Handy tip: If you visit a company’s website and find a contact name but you don’t know their email address, go to You can find key contact email addresses there by entering the website address of the company/organization.

What’s the best way to keep track of my lighting requests?

Easy! We are providing a SurveyMonkey form. When you submit a lighting request, enter the required information in the form. The location information is needed for keeping the primary list of participating locations updated regularly, and for the PR campaign in the Fall. You may also want to keep a more detailed record of your lighting request submissions. We’ve created a Microsoft Excel spreadsheet of lighting request submissions that’s broken out by province. If you want to use the form for your detailed records, you can request a copy by emailing

What are the colours for Light It Up! For NDEAM?

The two colours are dark purple and and blue. The Red-Green-Blue (RGB) values are:

  • Purple — R: 125 G: 82  B: 138
  • Blue — R: 50 G: 77  B: 92

If a landmark can be lit only one colour, choose purple.

Why are dark purple and dark blue the colours for Light It Up! For NDEAM?

These colours were chosen for Light It UP! For NDEAM because they symbolize everything that Light It Up! For NDEAM stands for and what the event is designed to accomplish.

Among other things, purple symbolizes creativity, harmony and co-operation. Light It Up! For NDEAM is a one-night, awareness raising event that happens through like-minded organizations with a common goal — increasing employment opportunities for people who have a disability — working together regardless of their different overall approaches to National Disability Employment Awareness Month. With this spirit of co-operation in mind, purple was the fitting colour to choose for Light It Up! For NDEAM.

Dark blue represents trust, dignity, authority, professionalism, intelligence and loyalty. It’s a colour used by many businesses for their corporate identities (think of IBM and VISA). Dark blue “speaks” to business. So it makes perfect sense to use dark blue for Light It Up! For NDEAM.

We don’t use purple or blue in our province for our NDEAM campaign. Can we request to have buildings, landmarks or signs lit in a different colour for Light It Up! For NDEAM?

No. As explained above, there’s a reason why purple and blue were chosen for Light It Up! For NDEAM. This is an annual event with a brand identity. Purple and blue are the event brand colours. In news releases and other public relations efforts, Light It Up! For NDEAM is promoted as a one-night event during October when buildings, landmarks and signs will be specially lit purple and blue to raise awareness about the importance of disability inclusion in businesses.

How do I promote Light It Up! For NDEAM with local businesses?

Great question! Use the email templates, the PDF promo and the key messages provided, to get the conversation going. There’s a complete list of the resources we are providing, in the Light It Up! For NDEAM  backgrounder document that you received. The key messages behind Light It Up! For NDEAM are also in that document. ODEN will also provide a press release template you can use in the Fall to send out locally, when the Light It Up! For NDEAM PR campaign starts.

What about social media?

Absolutely promote Light It Up! For NDEAM on your social media, beginning in September. You can use the templated social media posts that will be provided. There are more details about this in the Light It Up! For NDEAM plan document you received.

The social media hashtags for Light It Up! For NDEAM are:

  • #LightItUpForNDEAM
  • #NDEAM
  • #EngageTalent

  • #OnilluminelanuitpourleMNSPESH
  • #OnilluminelanuitpourleMSPESH
  • #Engagerlestalents

You’ll need to provide these hashtags to your municipality and local businesses if they’re participating, so they can promote Light It Up! For NDEAM (and their participation in it) on their social media.

Is Light It Up! For NDEAM trademarked?

Yes. We’ve also trademarked Light It Up! For DEAM, to accommodate participation where October is referred to as Disability Employment Awareness Month.

  • Organizations that participate in Light It Up! For NDEAM in alliance with ODEN have permission to use the trademark name in any promotional materials they create themselves.
  • Please follow the Light It Up! For NDEAMTrademark Usage Guidelines. They are available in the Light It Up! For NDEAM PR Kit.
  • Include this tag line on materials you create locally: Light It Up! For NDEAMTM is a trademark of the Ontario Disability Employment Network. Used with permission.

Are you involved? Let us know!

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