Campaign Aims To Create 1 Million Jobs For People With Disabilities
Three of the nation’s most prominent disability organizations are banding together in an effort to bring about a million jobs for people with developmental disabilities by 2025.
Autism Speaks, Special Olympics and Best Buddies said this week that they are launching a campaign called Delivering Jobs to encourage employers across the country to hire people with disabilities and to give job seekers the tools needed to prepare for opportunities in the workforce.
The campaign is also aimed at educating the public about low rates of employment among those with developmental disabilities and the need to advocate for inclusion, the groups said.
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Backers of the Delivering Jobs campaign cited research showing that employing people with autism and other developmental disabilities leads to better morale and helps companies boost their bottom line.
A study out this week from the Institute for Corporate Productivity, a research firm, and Best Buddies International found that companies are increasingly taking steps to include people with disabilities in their workforce. Nonetheless, the report notes that 81 percent of adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities remain unemployed.
“These job candidates and employees can add tremendous value to any workplace, tackling problems with unique perspective and tenacity,” said Angela Geiger, president and CEO of Autism Speaks. “We’ve seen firsthand the positive impact of inclusive employment on businesses of all sizes, and through this campaign, we hope to facilitate and normalize the recruitment and management practices, providing the resources for these workers to thrive.”
The disability groups are asking businesses to ensure that people with developmental disabilities have access to at least 1 percent of their job and leadership opportunities.
The campaign, which is also supported by the Entertainment Industry Foundation — a nonprofit charitable organization of the entertainment industry — launched with a public service announcement that’s appearing online and on digital screens in New York’s Times Square. Created by an inclusive crew, the PSA is designed to highlight what people with disabilities can do in a world where they are offered opportunities.
On the Delivering Jobs website, job seekers can access resources and employers can sign a pledge to create opportunities for people with developmental disabilities, increase hiring of this group and ensure that systems are in place for their long-term success.
“The organizations involved in Delivering Jobs have deep expertise preparing people with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences for success in the workplace. Now is the time for the private sector to do their part,” said Mary Davis, CEO of Special Olympics. “The next generation to join the workforce is expecting inclusion, and Delivering Jobs is here to help eliminate biases and create pathways to employment for this overlooked population.”
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