The Interfaith Disability Advocacy Coalition, of which Christian Reformed Disability Concerns is a member, has produced helpful resources for congregations. Use the Bulletin Insert to raise awareness in your congregation and the Suggested Steps for Congregations to expand employment opportunities for people with disabilities in your community.
Many people with disabilities would like to work. Work, paid or volunteer, brings dignity, self-respect and responsibility and lack of work can be demoralizing, socially isolating, and wasteful of a person’s abilities. Poverty often accompanies disability and lack of employment may mean that adequate food, housing and medical care are not attainable.
For more information, here are a few excerpts from an fine article on the topic in Fast Company, "Most Employers are Overlooking This Source of Talent":
- Just 19% of people with disabilities participate in the labor force (compared with over 68% of the rest of the population) and their unemployment rate is nearly 11%.
- If you want to have a workforce that thinks outside of the box I think it’s really important to be tapping into a diverse population like the population of workers with disabilities, because they live outside of the box. They’re constantly thinking about better and smarter ways to do things and to get around obstacles.
- According to the Job Accommodation Network (JAN), a U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy service, more than half of accommodations cost nothing to make. Of the rest, the typical cost is roughly $500.
- One of the best ways to make your workplace feel more welcoming to employees with disabilities is to talk about your goals to include hiring people with disabilities. Make sure the "careers" section of your web site includes images and language that show you value diversity and inclusion and how you support employees with disabilities . . .