As you may have already seen or heard, October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. At Partners for Youth with Disabilities we recognize that the Disability Community is significantly affected by unemployment in the United States. Many of our programs have an emphasis on preparing youth with disabilities for the transition to adulthood and employment. Our Young Entrepreneurs Project was specifically designed to prepare youth with disabilities for the workplace and the process of finding employment. These are just a few ways that PYD is dedicated to empowering youth with disabilities, but that is enough about us.
There are many ways that YOU can get involved in spreading awareness if you are an ally or interested in self advocacy. There are also resources available if you are living with a disability looking for employment. In honor of National Disability Employment Awareness month, we wanted to share these resources with you so that you can spread awareness in your community.
Spreading Awareness as an Ally or Self Advocate
-Educate yourself about the unemployment rates and employment barriers that individuals with disabilities face. A great place to start is this website: http://www.dol.gov/odep/
-If your workplace is looking to hire in the Boston area, sign up your work for this event that helps connect individuals with disabilities with potential employers. https://bitly.com/shorten/
– Pledge your support through the “I’m In To Hire” campaign hosted by Best Buddies to pledge your commitment to hiring people of all abilities. http://www.imintohire.org/
-Encourage your workplace to become more inclusive! A workplace might be a barrier to an individual with a disability because of its location, accessibility, or resources. Evaluate your workplace to start thinking of ways that you can become more inclusive.
Resources for Finding Employment
– This site offers a list of organizations and job search engines that assist people with disabilities in finding employment. http://nod.org/disability_resources/employment_resources/
– If you live in the Boston area, check out this employment event on October 15, 2014 at the State House. http://bit.ly/1sBWvyY
– Check out the Best Buddies Jobs Program to see if they are hosting an event in your area. http://www.bestbuddiesjobs.org/
– Contact local nonprofit organizations in your area that have mentoring programs or programs that help individuals with disabilities find employment.