The lack of employment for people with disabilities is a national disgrace. Fewer than 30% of us have full time, full year jobs, people of color with disabilities have employment outcomes even more dismal. People with more significant disabilities have worse employment outcomes. When we are hired, we are paid 1/3 less than our non-disabled peers.
CCDC believes the following:
- Work is part of the normal experience in our culture for people between the ages of 16-67 (at least).
- Almost everyone can do something and should be expected to do so.
- The antidote to ineffective “work incentive” systems is to change the system rather than avoid work.
- There have been changes in the recent past that have made gainful employment possible.
- In addition to escaping poverty, employment has intellectual, social, and psychological benefits.
We need to attack this problem on multiple fronts:
- We need to fight systems that keep us impoverished, especially poorly designed and hard to use “work incentive” programs.
- We need to expand and publicize the Medicaid Buy In Program for Working Adults with Disabilities.
- We need to change the Social Security Administration definition of disability.
- We need employers to reach out and make affirmative efforts to hire more people with significant disabilities.
- We need to work with the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation which is part of the Department of Labor and Employment. DVR is the government funded entity that is charged with helping PWD to gain employment. To learn more about the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation, visit: www.dvrcolorado.com