A national campaign to promote employment of people with disabilities will ask employers to look at this population in a new light.
The Campaign for Disability Employment, a new effort of the American Association of People with Disabilities, Special Olympics and a handful of other groups, is launching an initiative dubbed “What Can You Do?” It features a public service announcement and a new Web site where users can learn about employment issues and share their experiences.
The Web site also includes the winning videos from a contest put on by The Campaign for Disability Employment this summer. Videos show positive images of people with disabilities at work.
Jobs are particularly hard to come by right now for people with disabilities, employment statistics indicate. In August, this population experienced a 16.9 percent rate of unemployment, which is the highest rate on record since the U.S. Department of Labor began tracking such statistics in October 2008.
Meanwhile, the rest of the population was unemployed at a rate of just 9.3 percent. These numbers are not seasonally adjusted.
“The campaign is about raising expectations and changing perceptions of people with disabilities,” said Kathleen Martinez, assistant secretary for the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the U.S. Department of Labor. “The employment outlook for people with disabilities will only improve when we have the opportunity to show the contribution we can make.”