Hello sports fans! Today is that wonderful time of the year when baseball is in full swing. On Tuesday April 15, we celebrated the incredible life of #42 Jackie Robinson, who was the first man to break baseball’s color barrier. As we celebrated this day, let’s also not forget to remember a man who was the first athlete to face the barriers of being an athlete with a physical disability. I am talking about #39, Roy Campanella.
Posts Tagged 'employment'
Business Benefits: Why Hiring Workers with Disabilities is One of the Best Business Moves You Can Make
When the time comes to hire a new employee, employers sometimes overlook those individuals with disabilities. Workers with Disabilities are a talented segment of the workforce with surprisingly high rates of unemployment. Overlooking candidates with disabilities who are many times more than qualified may mean unnecessarily ending up with a mediocre employee because you limited the talent pool you searched in. Beyond just having a person to fill the job opening, employing people with disabilities can have several productivity, tax, and legal benefits to your company.
I love Election Day. I have always thought that that special Tuesday should be declared a national holiday, allowing all Americans to spend the day wondering who and what inevitable changes will be brought on through our right to vote, and gearing up to do their part in achieving or maintaining all candidates’ promises for themselves and their communities. In light of the reelection of President Obama, the promises he has made to the disability community should be examined to provide an idea of what to expect and to fight for as a community over the next four years.
The President’s first term featured positive change for the community. He championed the Affordable Care Act (ACA), which serves to decrease the cost of health care, denial of coverage due to pre-existing conditions, and the dropping of coverage due to health care costs. He passed a mandate for the creation of 100,000 new jobs for individuals with disabilities in the government over a five-year period, which remains on course. Finally, he has maintained and strengthened his record of supporting and defending the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), as well as enforcement of it. However, as even he has said, there remains a long way to go.
President Obama made countless promises to the disability community throughout both this and the 2008 campaign, from comments made by his proxy Ted Kennedy Jr. at the Disability Forum, to a campaign video directly addressing the disability community, to this inclusive statement made on election night:
“I believe we can keep the promise of our founding — the idea that if you’re willing to work hard, it doesn’t matter who you are, or where you come from, or what you look like, or where you love — it doesn’t matter whether you’re black or white, or Hispanic or Asian, or Native American, or young or old, or rich or poor, abled, disabled, gay or straight — you can make it here in America if you’re willing to try.”
I hope and challenge you to hold not only the President, but also your other federal, state, and local leaders accountable in insuring that every member of the disability community enjoys the same civil rights as every other member of the American community. Familiarize yourself with relevant issues that have been promised, as well as with any new legislation that arises relating to individuals with disabilities. Consisting of almost 60 million Americans, it makes up one of the largest underserved communities in the country, and deserves to be heard and given the same opportunities as every other individual and community.
For a full outline of President Obama’s position on disability issues, please explore the following links:
The federal government is making plans to boost disability employment! For over a quarter of a century federal contractors and subcontractors have been required to make “a reasonable effort” to include people with disabilities in their workforce. However, without any measurable goals the law was able to enforce only that the company made a “reasonable effort” for affirmative action.
ODEP has developed a new Integrated Employment Toolkit to provide valuable information as individuals, community employment agencies, policymakers and others pursue integrated employment as the desired employment goal for youth and adults with disabilities. The Toolkit includes practical and, in some cases, adaptable information and documents to facilitate the movement of states, organizations and, most importantly, youth and adults to integrated employment as their primary option for employment.
For those who may not be aware, October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). NDEAM is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America’s workers with disabilities. This year’s theme for NDEAM 2011 is “Profit by Investing in Workers with Disabilities,” which promotes the valuable contributions people with disabilities make to America’s workplaces and economy. The theme honors the contributions of workers with disabilities, and serves to inform the public that they represent a highly skilled talent pool that can help employers compete in today’s global economy.
The unemployment rate among people with disabilities is high, and even higher compared to the rest of the population. A month ago, the U.S. Department of Labor released the 2011 disability employment statistics. The following numbers are based upon employment status of the civilian population by sex, age, and disability status, not seasonally adjusted.
High Speed Video (HSV), a provider of software video communications company and Hire Disability Solutions (HDS) have joined together to help veteran’s with disabilities find employment. The joint venture took place at the HDS Global Veterans Career Expo in NYC this past May. HSV’s video conferencing technology (ClearVision) was used to conduct hundreds of video conference interviews during the event. The virtual expo continued afterwards across dozens of military bases in the US and across the world.