The Campaign for Disability Employment’s (CDE) feature PSA “What Can You Do” tells the stories of nine individuals, all who are working in jobs they love and also happen to have disabilities. The campaign is a real winner in our books, causing listeners to stop and actually think about what defines each of the featured individuals.
Starting with items like their height, eye color and job title, viewers wouldn’t give a second thought to define them by a disability. The efforts at the CDE promote employers and individuals to find out what they really can do regardless of disabilities.
As the government pushes forward on innovative measures to ensure individuals with disabilities find gainful employment, such as the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), it is important for employers to realize the benefit all individuals can bring to a job. As the PSA shows, often times individuals with disabilities refuse to be defined by their disability, and they they are the sum of their many life roles.
In a recent Fast Company article by Gwen Moran, most often employers overlook the value of employing individuals with disabilities. She sites that many individuals with disabilities are thinking outside the box, looking from new angles on how to solve tough issues or challenges. It is a smart tip for employers to continue to increase the diversity within their teams, recognizing that judging a book by it’s cover will get you no where.
Luckily for organizations across the United States, according to the U.S. Department of Labor, that more individuals with disabilities joined the workforce in 2014 than years prior. Meaning that more individuals are seeking employment and more opportunities for workplaces to become more diverse.