Archive for Employment

Taking Down Employment Barriers

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.

Where Is Everybody?

I was out at Target and other places, the other day. I was shopping and looking around and I said to myself, ”Where are all the people with disabilities?”

I know they have to be out there. Do you think this is really true or are people with disabilities stuck at home and not given an opportunity like everyone else?

Through my travels I can tell you that the majority of persons with disabilities are stuck at home. They do not have the opportunities that everyone else has.

We are starting to show our faces in this world, slowly one at a time. The disabled are tired of being stuck at home. The disabled are tired of being hidden.

It makes sense that everyone has an opportunity to participate and contribute to to society?

Yes it is true that people with disabilities are struggling. It is true that people with disabilities are not treated the same as everyone else. So what do we do about that?

We need to advocate, speak out, change peoples minds and attitudes. We also need to take ourselves out into the community.

We – people with disabilities – need to get off our butts and start doing. We must be the change. We can not wait for someone to come and make the change for us.

Get out there, go bowling, get a job, go to the movies, play pool, go shopping. Get out with others and enjoy life.

You have to make that decision to stop believing what others have to say. You can not live the life they have planned for you. You have to live your own life.

This message is not just to people with disabilities. It is for everyone. Quit treating people that are different like they are like they have no value!

We will not take it anymore! Remember that the squeaky wheel gets noticed.

Keep It Up Joyce

Joyce McInerny has voices all around her.  She grew up with schizophrenia, depress and borderline personality disorder.

Despite this, she is a thriving productive member of society.  She also is giving back to her community.

Joyce works as a peer specialist for the Florida Assertive Community Treatment program at the Peace River Center.  She teaches the mentally ill how to cope.  She teaches them how to work, be productive and become members of their communities.

Unemployment among the disabled, no matter what the disability, is staggering.  Almost 80% of those with disabilities are unemployed.

Wow – our government and economists are upset with general unemployment hits 8 and 9%.  The disabled have been dealing with massive unemployment since those statistics have been compiled.

Joyce is making a difference, one person at a time.  In her own way she is giving back.  She is empowering those with a mental illness to be what they can be.

Can anyone aspire to anything greater in their life?

At one time Joyce suffered from the discrimination that is inherent in our society, that anyone with a disability is unemployable.

Keep it up Joyce.  Hopefully others will step up and help – one person at a time – until the disabled have full access to employment, like any American is entitled to.

Previously Published on The View From The Dark Side of The Moon Blog

Developmental Disabilities

Discrimination is when a person with a different color, race, age, gender and a person with a disability is not equally. Discrimination against a person with a developmental disability is the focus here. What is a developmental disability? How and where are people with a developmental disability discriminated against?

A developmental disability is a lifelong disability.  It can be a mental and/or physical impairment. DD as it is referred to effects day to day living functions such as; living on your own, handling money, learning different things, being able to move your body where you want, being able to speak clearly enough where others can hear you, taking care of all your daily functions and taking yourself where you want to go.

A person with a developmental disability may not function like everyone else but most of them can still work and live a full life.

Employers are put off by someone with DD.  They do not see the person, they only see the disability.  Being disabled is not a reason to be turned down for a job.

Those with disabilities are hard workers, they show up on time, they do not miss work and they perform their jobs well if they are properly trained.

Employers who see only the disability are missing out on some great employees.

We need to keep squeaking our wheels until they are all listening.

Being in the Business World with a Disability

In today’s economy being in the business world is hard for everyone.  It is especially challenging for people with disabilities! People with disabilities are not treated the same as everyone else and are not given the same opportunities.

This is just not fair, but it is reality.  Are people with disabilities not humans? Remember in the Merchant of Venice – “do we not bleed?”

We should be treated like anyone else and given the same opportunities. Imagine rolling up into a place of employment ready to apply for a job and having them stare at you while they look down on you. I bet you would feel like a 30 ton hammer just hit you straight in the head.

That’s how it is in this world when people with disabilities just try and live normal lives like anyone else. Having people tell you that you are worthless and will never get anywhere in life is the worst feeling in the world.

This needs to stop and we need to get more people with disabilities out of the house and into the world where they contribute to society!

The question is, are people just not educated enough or do they just not give a flying hoot?

Remember keep squeaking your wheelchair, you will get noticed.

Employment and ADA

People with disabilities have been struggling trying to get jobs.  Historically they have been discriminated against.  In 1990 ADA was passed to protect them.
The Americans With Disabilities Act protects people with disabilities from discrimination and more. This act prohibits private employers, state and local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, compensation, job training, and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment.

This act only covers places of employment that has fifteen or more employees. I do not agree with this. I think that all places of employment should have to follow this act no matter what size the company.  People with disabilities need and want jobs, all different types of jobs.
Why should someone with a disability not be able to work at a place because of their disability? That is what this law protects. I have had a disability all my life and I never had a problem but I know it happens. Do you know anyone with a disability that was or almost was in this situation? Let’s talk about this issue.
Remember the squeaky wheelchair gets attention.