Monday, December 14, 2009

Equal Employment for All

When will Equal Employment for men and women with disabilities become a reality and not just a few words that are part of some article written in the month of October for National Disability Employment Awareness month? When will the unemployment rate that this community faces every day become a number we can live with rather than a statistic no one cares or does something about? When will the people in the Federal, State and City Governments start hiring people with disabilities and not just tell others to do it? We have seen the Rehabilitation Act and the ADA not make opportunities for this community become more plentiful. Today we stand as the greatest country in the world, with some very smart people. Why do we allow our disabled citizens to be underemployed or unemployed and have no voice regarding their future? Have you ever gone to a party where someone didn’t ask what you did for a living? Would you want to answer I receive Social Security? The solution to the issue of putting our disabled community to work must be an issue we take seriously. Steps must be put in place to right this wrong. First, we must get corporate America to sit at the table, and we must have our Human Resource Professionals include disability management into the daily framework of their positions. We must make funding available for the organizations entrusted with preparing this community for employment with the tools they need to succeed; vocational counselors must be able to have access to the latest in technology, training and human resource education available. We must stop training people for jobs that no longer exist in this economy and prepare them for positions that will provide for family sustaining income and career advancement. We must bring corporations and the world of vocational education closer together and to trust one another. When a vocational counselor tells a corporate recruiter “I have the best person for the job” they truly are the best person for the job.

Jeff Klare rides 300 miles to promote the Employment of men and women with disabilities, led by Eric Madeus an 8 year old. Eric one day will be seeking employment

He noted that what happens now would likely affect Eric Madaus, 8, who suffers from Spina Bifida, and other young people with disabilities. They will need, and want to hold meaningful jobs in the future.

Madaus, from the D.C. area, led Klare to the finish line on a special bike.

“If not now, when?” Klare asked. “If companies don’t look to employ people with disabilities now, what’s his future going to be like?”

Jeff Klare
CEO, Hire Disability Solutions, LLC

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