Governor Rick Scott can be full of surprises. He cuts the budget for the disabled. He reduces respite care. He signs an executive order earlier this year that drastically reduced, if only for a short time, reimbursement rates for the disabled.
Now he has signed a bill and issued an executive order that should help to remove employment barriers for Floridians with developmental disabilities.
The bill will protect employers from lawsuits that could result from acts or omissions by employee’s who have developmental disabilities.
There are conditions attached, but the legislation is a step in the right direction. It should help eliminate one of the barriers to employing the disabled.
The Governor, who has not been overly friendly to the disable community, issued Executive Order 11-161. This creates a new commission. Of course commissions can ofter just become window dressing.
However, maybe we should give this commission a chance. The Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities will study unemployment trends among the disabled. Of course anyone involved with the disabled can answer that easily. Employment for the disabled is abysmal. It is too high.
The commission will investigate and recommend ways to get more persons with disabilities into jobs. Let us hope it is more than just window dressing. Unemployment among the disabled is over 60% and even higher depending on the statistics used.
The disabled want to work. They want to be productive. They want to contribute and above all they like to have income just like everyone else.
Laws and Executive Orders sound great. We can only wait and see if they really make a difference. We can hope this commission creates more jobs than Governor Scott has created for the general sector of the economy.
Remember the squeaky wheelchair attracts attention.