Disability news, Accessibility Issues, Disability Issues, Accessiblity News

Archive for the ‘employment/jobs’ Category

EEOC: Less than 1 percent of federal workers have disabilities

Thursday, July 29th, 2010

EEOC press release, Washington Post, Federal Times:

A report released this week by the federal Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) found that people with targeted disabilities still comprise less than one percent (0.88 percent) of the total federal work force. Targeted disabilities include deafness, blindness, missing extremities, partial or complete paralysis, convulsive disorders, mental retardation, mental illness, and distortion of the limb and/or spine.

According to the report, the percentage of federal employees with targeted disabilities held steady in fiscal 2009 for the first time since 1995, halting a 13-year decline.

“As the largest employer in the nation, the federal government should lead the way in creating a diverse and just workplace,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “Government employers need to continue to recruit and promote employees who represent the tapestry of America. They must also improve the efficiency of the complaint process so that justice delayed is not justice denied. We look forward to assisting the federal government to become an exemplary employer.”

An executive order signed by the president this week ordered federal agencies to hire 100,000 more employees with disabilities over the next five years, and mandated that hiring managers and human resource staff members be trained on how to employ people with disabilities.

Obama signs order to increase federal disability hiring

Monday, July 26th, 2010

From CNN:

Marking the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, President Obama today signed an executive order to increase government hiring of people with disabilities.

“Not dependence but independence: That’s what the ADA was all about,” Obama said at a White House reception attended by several hundred guests, including Cabinet members, legislators and activists for the disabled.

A recent government report found that fewer than one percent of federal workers have targeted disabilities including deafness, blindness, missing limbs, partial or complete paralysis, convulsive disorders, mental retardation, mental illness and limb or spine distortions, as compared with one in five members of the general population.

Earlier posts here.

See also:

Remarks by Attorney General Eric Holder

Q&A with Kareem Dale, Obama’s top adviser on disability issues, in the Washington Post.

Q&A with Andy Imparato, president and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities, in the Washington Post.

ADA brings little progress in the workplace

Monday, July 26th, 2010

Reporting at MSNBC, Eve Tahmincioglu says Americans with disabilities still face overwhelming barriers to employment two decades after the enactment of the ADA. A recent Harris Survey of working-aged people with disabilities found that only 21 percent were employed either full or part-time, compared with 59 percent of people without disabilities.

The study, commissioned by the National Organization on Disability and the Kessler Foundation, said 73 percent of those without jobs cited their disability as the reason they were unemployed. The survey also found that people with disabilities are twice as likely as people without disabilities to have annual household incomes of $15,000 or less.

“There have been great improvements because of the ADA, but discrimination in the workplace is still at an unacceptable level,” said Rodger DeRose, CEO of the Kessler Foundation.

… Without job opportunities, DeRose said, all the accessibility advances for disabled folks — such as ramps and parking spots — that resulted thanks to the Act, won’t truly help the disabled integrate fully into society, both socially and economically.

(With video from the NBC Today Show, featuring NOD board member Bonnie St. John and Alana Wallace, actor in the “Think Beyond the Label” public service campaign.)

Column: Despite ADA, challenges remain

Sunday, July 25th, 2010

By Roger Bradley in the Ft. Myers [Florida] News Press:

How will our community reduce the 80 percent unemployment rate for people with disabilities in an area already saturated with unemployment? How will our community provide adequate transportation services which are so essential to avoid isolation of the disabled community during an era affected by an atmosphere of budget reductions? What can we do to remove the non-physical communication barriers inherent in the cyberspace medium of the World Wide Web?

In the future, we shouldn’t need legislation to motivate our community to make accommodating changes for anyone. The economic and societal benefits of doing so should be obvious, in addition to the fact that it is just the right thing to do.

Bradley is the executive director of LARC of Lee County, Florida.

People with disabilities seek to open their own businesses

Thursday, July 15th, 2010

Entrepreneurship seen as alternative to bleak job market, but hurdles loom

By Sarah E. Needleman in the Wall Street Journal:

An increasing number of people with disabilities are exploring entrepreneurship, responding to an competitive job market that offers them few opportunities, experts say. The unemployment rate for workers with disabilities was 14.3 percent in June, more than 50 percent higher than the national unemployment rate for all American workers.

The jobless situation for workers with disabilities is even more dire than is reflected in official unemployment statistics, according to experts, because those numbers do not take account of individuals who have stopped looking for work, or who do not seek work for fear of losing government benefits.

Experts say they have seen a steady increase in the number of people with disabilities who are seeking grants, mentors, training and resources, but have not seen strong evidence that the supports are working.  “We have yet to show any significant increase in profit or individual incomes by these new business owners,” says Urban Miyares, president of a nonprofit business support agency in San Diego.

Columnist: Workers with disabilities are key to firm’s success

Thursday, April 29th, 2010

Columnist Neal St. Anthony, writing in the [Minneapolis-St. Paul] Star-Tribune, says workers with developmental disabilities “help drive the culture and success” at Key Surgical, a local firm that manufactures and distributes surgical products.

The company employs five such workers, including Misty Colby (left), through Lifeworks Services, a nonprofit that trains and supports them. The Lifeworks-trained workers are accompanied by a job coach and paid an average of $8.25 an hour, depending on productivity. They focus on detailed, repetitive work including counting, sorting, assembling, labeling and packaging.

“The Lifeworks folks are extremely diligent,” says Key Surgical CEO Brian O’Connell. “They are a part of a company that we think is a fun, vibrant, interesting place to work.”

Students with disabilities get internships on Capitol Hill

Wednesday, April 28th, 2010

From Politico.com:

Three young adults with intellectual disabilities are working as interns in Congress, courtesy of a new pilot program affiliated with Mason LIFE, a post-secondary program for adults with intellectual disabilities at George Mason University.

While the internships don’t guarantee future paid employment, organizers are hopeful that the office experience and self-confidence the students gain will give their resumes a welcome boost.

Mississippi Republican Rep. Gregg Harper, whose son has Fragile X syndrome, reached out to Mason LIFE to get the internship program started.

“After dealing with these issues for 20-plus years, that’s kind of where our heart is,” Harper said. “A lot of times, when you get out of high school and you’re dealing with intellectual disabilities, you fall off the educational face of the Earth. Sometimes you’re looking to give hope to some of these families who want their child to continue on.”

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More than 50 million people in the United States have disabilities, a number that is growing rapidly as the population ages. Experts say disability will soon affect the lives of most Americans. This website attempts to aggregate news and commentary about disability, and to document the efforts of people who are seeking new ways to address familiar challenges.

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