The economy and employment for people with disabilities

Aug 02, 2011
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This week the United States Senate has been considering ways to boost disability employment figures.

The hearings are being conducted by Senator Tom Harkin (Democrat- Iowa) to address the ways that Congress might help increase the number of people with disabilities from the current level of 4 Million to 6 Million by the year 2015.

People with disabilities were invited to address Congress and explain the barriers they face to employment. They reported the following issues:

1.      Societal perceptions on what it means to have a disability.

2.      Having teachers and counselors with low expectations for a PWD.

3.      Having to prove that one can not work in order to receive the disability benefit they need from Social Security.

4.      Losing health benefits if they begin work, that the salary can not make up for.

5.      Competing with long term employed persons who lost their jobs due to the poor economy. These include teachers, firefighters, police officers, engineers, and other government and private workers who are now forced to accept minimum wage and part-time work just to earn enough to get by.

One person suggested that the government could help PWD to find employment by supporting PWD I the government’s registered apprenticeship model. In this program PWD would enter paid apprenticeships, and graduate directly into full time employment.

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Author: Tanya