There are job opportunities for disabled people, but it can be a challenge to match job seeker skill sets with available jobs. It’s a real disconnect that some government agencies are working to correct. And as a result, disabled people looking for work have more job opportunities now than ever before.
Laura Taylor of St. Louis, Missouri discusses government efforts to provide job opportunities for the disabled, Darrin Gleeman of New York, New York talks about how to help employers provide more jobs for people with disabilities and Debbie Fowler of Lexington, Kentucky explains how simple modifications to job descriptions can help disabled people who are looking for work.
Government Efforts to Provide Jobs for People with Disabilities by Laura Taylor of St. Louis, Missouri
Two areas of government have started working together to help provide jobs for people with disabilities. The Department of Labor (DOL) partnered with the Social Security Administration (SSA) in 2007 to start the Disability Program Navigator Initiative. The Navigator is used in the DOL’s One Stop Career Centers. The One Stop centers provide disabled people looking for work with information and resources to get a job. The career centers help match employers’ needs to skills of disabled people looking for work. The center employees work closely with disabled people in their community to provide career services that include creating solid resumes and job skills training. The centers help coach people with disabilities to make sure that they are job-ready.
Helping Employers Provide Jobs for Disabled People Looking for Work by Darrin Gleeman of New York, New York
In addition to helping disabled people who are looking for work, the One Stop centers also work with hiring companies in their communities. One Stop centers coach employers on how to write job descriptions that don’t rule out hiring people with disabilities. They also provide community services to employers to help them see past a disability, and recognize the valuable contributions that a disabled job seeker can provide. One Stop centers help companies adapt to the changing workforce, where more and more disabled people are looking for work. Changing job descriptions to include opportunities for physically and mentally disabled people may take some assistance. Groups like the One Stop Centers and the Centers for Independent Living can help provide input on how to create jobs in your organization for people with disabilities.
Job Opportunities for the Disabled by Debbie Fowler of Lexington, Kentucky
There are a number of potential job opportunities for the disabled. The Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 prohibits any form of discrimination against disabled people by employers, which opens up more prospects for employment. The Division of Rehabilitation Services (DORS) helps provide job opportunities for the disabled. Mainstream employment goals and total productivity for the disabled often rest in identifying adjustments needed for on the job success. Making a job opportunity accessible for a disabled person might be as easy as modifying a standard work schedule, to allow them more time in the morning to prepare for their workday. With flex time becoming more and more common in the workplace, this becomes less and less of a hardship for employers as times goes on. And, government funding in the form of tax credits can help off-set any costs to a company as a result of providing job opportunities for disabled people.
We Thank Our Contributors:
- Laura Taylor of St. Louis, Missouri
- Darrin Gleeman of New York, New York
- Debbie Fowler of Lexington, Kentucky