The Americans with Disabilities Act makes it illegal to discriminate against US job seekers with disabilities and requires that employers make reasonable accommodations, including modifying equipment, to help disabled employees perform essential job duties.
Luxury fashion brand Gucci was under fire last week due to their new Balaclava sweater, which was widely criticized for being an example of Blackface.
As many as one in five US farmers suffers from a disability that impacts their physical health, senses, or cognition. Offsetting that statistic and keeping Americans fed are technologies like four-wheel-drive golf carts, auto-locking tractor hitches, and even boring old smartphones.
Social interaction and communication skills can be a challenge for people with autism spectrum disorder, but companies looking to hire untapped talent for tech-related jobs are discovering that those with autism are unusually detail-oriented, highly analytical, and able to focus intensely on tasks.
At Microsoft, we see disability as a strength. We are committed to diversity and inclusion, including attracting, recruiting, and retaining diverse talent in the tech industry.
Positive action will be required to ensure that smart city solutions don’t just favor the already wealthy and connected.
JAN is the leading source of free, expert, and confidential guidance on workplace accommodations and disability employment issues. Working toward practical solutions that benefit both employer and employee, JAN helps people with disabilities enhance their employability, and shows employers how to capitalize on the value and talent that people with disabilities add to the workplace.
Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Starkloff Disability Institute
Colleen Starkloff is a career advocate for people with disabilities.
She is an expert on issues related to independent living; Universal Design, the history of disability issues, disability employment and public policy related to the disability community.
As a Co-Founder and Co-Director of the Starkloff Disability Institute, she works to promote and foster full employment for people with disabilities. She consults with employers on training issues related to employment of people with disabilities in mainstream, competitive jobs.
Ms. Starkloff is often invited to speak on a variety of subjects related to disability rights, Universal Design, employment of people with disabilities and the emancipation of all people with disability.
The Social Security Administration and Department of Education have issued a challenge; create an app that will help address the issue that people with disabilities have a significantly higher unemployment rate and a lower labor force participation rate that the general population. According to the Department of Labor, people with disabilities have a 20.3% labor force participation rate compared to 69.1% for their non-disabled peers, and people with disabilities have an unemployment rate of 12.5% compared to 7.6% for their non-disabled peers. This represents a significant loss of willing and able talent to the American workforce, a loss of income for people without jobs, and an economic loss to the American economy.
The Apps submitted should accomplish at least one of these goals:
Promote Recruitment Resources for Employers:
These features should provide recruitment resources for employers to identify individuals with disabilities to hire by using tools such as Career One-Stops Centers, state Vocational Rehabilitation agencies, employment networks, educational institutions and programs, non-profit organizations, and private recruitment resources.
Develop Job Training and Skill-Building Tools for Job Seekers:
These features should include vocational and workforce training resources, apprenticeship, internship, and mentorship resources, resume tips, as well as resources and tools related to “soft skills” (e.g., interview skills, etc.).
Facilitate Employment-Related Transportation Options:
These features should use publicly available resources to expand individuals with disabilities access to and knowledge of accessible employment-related transportation options.
Expand Web and Information Communication Technology (ICT) Accessibility:
These features should use publicly available tools regarding website and ICT accessibility that will help employers improve their systems to be accessible to applicants with disabilities, as well as current employees.
The submission period closes on August 23rd at 11:00 pm EDT. First, second and third place will receive cash prizes of 5,000, 3,000, and 2,000 respectively. Winners will be announced August 29th at 11:00 am EDT.