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December 12, 2012  |  Zach Baldwin

That’s the current rate among people with disabilities who are not a part of the labor force in the United States. We hear about the poor economy and the national unemployment rate nearly every day, yet people with disabilities, who are disproportionally left out of the labor force, are rarely mentioned.

Let’s change that.

79.3% chart

Table comparing the percentage of people with disabilities left out of the labor force (79.3%) to the percentage of people without disabilities not participating in the labor force (30.8%).

Source: Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)

AAPD believes in economic power for our community because the opportunity to work creates the chance for economic self-sufficiency and the chance to be an active member of society. Joyce Bender, the Chair of AAPD’s Board of Directors, understands the importance of employment for our community.

“For over a decade, I have been on a crusade to advance employment of Americans with Disabilities. The ADA was signed into law on July 26th 1990, and yet we still have the highest level of unemployment of any minority group. At AAPD, we have made employment of people with disabilities a national initiative. We know that people with disabilities want to work, can work, and will be successful. We know that talent should be the only discriminator. You will never be free in this country until you have competitive employment. Lead on!” – Joyce Bender, AAPD Board Chair

To combat this 79.3%, AAPD promotes legislation and policy that provide opportunities for people with disabilities, partners with employers to improve business practices and develop mentoring programs, and offers career opportunities to students and recent graduates with disabilities.

Together we can increase the economic power of our community! Thank you for your support of AAPD.

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Submitted by mctrish at 03:41 PM on March 11, 2013
Where I am located it seems to me that: Many disabled people want to work but can't spend as many hours doing all it takes to find a job. There needs to be help for people with disabilities that have degrees and/or training but little work experience. A BS degree is not enough to count for 2 years work experience. It should count for something, even if someone majored in fine arts. My degree is considered to be a liberal arts degree. In my state the help I got from the state agency to help disabled people was horrible. In 1 year and 3 months: I got 2 resumes and attended a job search lecture/workshop. I already was familiar with everything that was mentioned in the job search lecture/workshop. I was also directed to attend job fairs. These were completely worthless... most of the jobs were unsuitable: either working rotating shifts, commission only etc. Also there were many private colleges trying to find students to enroll. My help was terminated when I had an accident after I was coming back from an inquiry about a job interview I was trying to get. The agency was aware of the job I was trying to get and what I was doing. My accident caused me to be unable to work for over 6 months. It was not my fault. I was not able to recover any money in a lawsuit. I could never even far enough to get to a lawsuit. Since I could not hunt for a job, 5 days a week mainly using the internet, my contract was terminated. An agency should not be able to drop a client, in a situation like mine... my agreement with them should have been able to be put on hold for up to 1 year with a doctor's note. There needs to be some kind of national network that helps disabled people and not just local or state agencies. Many states have critera that exclude many disabled persons from help and continue to want this to occur, because of the funding issues. The whole problem is the approach seems to be piecemeal and varies greatly from one state to another and from one metro area to another.
Submitted by Naba Kumar at 12:41 AM on December 13, 2012
You understand a person with disabled feeling. if feeling than active otherwise not
Submitted by Naba Kumar at 12:38 AM on December 13, 2012
We work for person with Disabilities. When a Disable man/woman said give a job. They don't give his job. Its a true reality In this World everywhere. We no need our development. Engage me job than you Develop them
Submitted by J.Taylor at 09:41 PM on December 12, 2012
Thanks for shining a light on the problem of the under-count of Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers. The 16% "official" unemployment rate among people with disabilities does not count all those who are not "officially" unemployed, just as the "official" 8% overall unemployment rate masks the millions who have given up or aren't actively seeking a job for whatever reason. What a waste of human talent!

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