Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Disability to just Ability

As a person with a disability and on the spectrum, it has been great to read all of these suggestions. Many of us are high functioning to the point most people would not really know, but with some basic accommodations for employers to follow, we can have the opportunity to be productive positive members of the work force. So here are some ideas I have.

First many people with intellectual disabilities, are first picked... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Geographic equity and transportation

Transportation is consistently one of the top three barriers that people who are blind face in obtaining and retaining employment. Just as a start, equitable transportation requires ensuring that public transportation services are reliable, affordable and convenient; where public transportation is inconvenient, vouchers or discounts for private transportation options are available; and people have the orientation and... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Diversity in workforce and business organizations

Company and community culture play an important role in creating high achievement expectations for people with disabilities. In order to change culture, it has been recognized that disability leadership within a program or community is beneficial. Likewise, diverse disability leadership (that also incorporates racial, gender, and economic diversity) on corporate and nonprofit boards, chambers of commerce, and workforce... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Not everyone is aware of the opportunities available

Connecting with different kinds of community organizations is important for promoting higher expectations and ensuring access to opportunities for people with disabilities. Some underserved communities may place significantly more trust in faith-institutions, local schools, and community business organizations than government programs, so reaching those communities with opportunities to engage with service providers,... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Increase Diversity and Foster Open/Welcoming Environments

The best way to elicit feedback from communities is to include diverse voices from that community on advisory councils. The DOL watchword at all levels should be, "Nothing about us without us."

One surefire way to foster communication is to create a welcoming, respectful, and collaborative atmosphere. Without this, nothing will help since the community will soon see the futility of bothering to move forward in that direction.... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Use Community Meetings and Online Dialogue to Drive Policy

In direct response to the early stages of the COVID-19 pandemic and fearing the social isolation created by lockdowns, our organization quickly responded by hosting a series of virtual Disability Community Gatherings to create safe, online, social space for people with disabilities. While all the gatherings were open to anyone, each one had a specific focus on particular affinity groups within the broader spectrum of... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Develop and Distribute Local Resources Guides

While RespectAbility is a national, non-partisan organization, since 2017 we have worked extensively in communities from coast to coast. When interfacing with local organizations working to meet local disability, workforce, and community needs, we have consistently found that local people with disabilities often do not know where to look for supports or services. Whether we are talking about under-resourced neighborhoods... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Focus on Encouraging & Diversifying Disability Owned Businesses

In the pre-pandemic era, job seekers with disabilities were already turning to self-employment in far higher numbers than their non-disabled peers. For many, they did so because being your own boss and owning a small business served as an end-run around the barriers to employment that hold back far too many people with disabilities. In looking at the issue of self-employment and promoting entrepreneurship among people... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Leverage Community College Resources to Improve Outcomes

Community colleges are crucial pieces of the nation's workforce development infrastructure and in many states, community colleges help direct the investment of WIOA dollars in programs or agencies. State and local Workforce Investment Boards can build sector partnerships that leverage community colleges and other education and training providers to develop career pathways that align workforce supply and demand. WIOA emphasizes... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Fight Stigmas through the Power of Story Telling/Role Models

Moving the nation to become more equitable for underrepresented communities and dismantling systems that create marginalization requires a transformation in culture, practice and the economy. It requires the courage and commitment of every American, the adoption of policies to end disparities, as well as a culture that embraces diverse stories that reflect the full the African American experience and the intersectionality... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Veterans with Disabilities are an Underserved Community

According to DOL's BLS, among the 284,000 unemployed veterans in 2019, 56 percent were ages 25 to 54, 39 percent were age 55 and over, and 5 percent were ages 18 to 24. And according to a 2018 VA Report, minority veterans face a 44 percent higher risk of unemployment than nonminority veterans. Working-age rural veterans (18 to 64 years old) had a lower employment rate than rural nonveterans and urban veterans.

 

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Idea

If your agency has a wellness program. Rewards should not be given within the wellness program for athletic performance. Not everyone performs at the same level which advantages some over others. Some employee's may additionally have physical, mental, psychological disabilities that limit them and performance based wellness programs do not account for that.

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Assume Disabled People Need Accommodations

All Federal and state offices should assume a disabled person needs accommodations from the first contact. They should be asked what accommodations they need at the first contact, which may be via a web page on a mobile phone. Many disabled people do not use email because they forget or it's too hard to read. Webpages are a problem for people with a learning disability.

And keep the number of steps to apply for benefits... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Make monthly earnings limit regionally based

The monthly earnings limit for disabled people needs to be tied to the minimum wage in their city and/or state. My child was kicked off disability benefits for working almost full-time in a minimum wage job. Their pay was 50 cents over minimum wage, but they still made too much money.

That's because the minimum wage in Seattle is $16.69 per hour. Now they can't work more than 8 hours per week or they go above the monthly... more »

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Reaching Jobseekers and Employees with Disabilities in Underserved Communities

Affecting Change

When did the Sheltered Workshop go out of Fashion? It was an incredible resource for our neighbors with severe disabling conditions. Rsides socializing persons, sheltered workshops provided respite care for family members. My favorite example of a successful Sheltered Workshop was called Cookie Creation. Their product was a large individually wrapped cookie which then were sold in malls. Cookie Creation's kitchen was... more »

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