Jobs for People with Disabilities: Let’s Start Planning Now for the Post-Covid Era

First the good news: There have been dozens of webinars these past few weeks addressing the topic of employment and people with disabilities.  Five which I have personally attended are listed here.  Topics have addressed everything from big companies like JP Morgan and Cintas speaking about why they hire people with disabilities, to remote work opportunities in the Covid and post-Covid area. 

Some conferences and organizations will soon post recordings and transcripts—and there is still time to sign up for tomorrow’s session with Dr. Stephen Shore on “Neurodiversity and the Four A’s of Autism-Employment.”  https://jewishlearningventure.org/event/neurodiversity-10-22-20/ 

-RespectAbility:  Webinar: Successful Self-Employment & Entrepreneurship for People with Disabilities  https://www.respectability.org/2020/09/webinar-successful-self-employment-entrepreneurship-for-people-with-disabilities/#more-23150

-Next for Autism:  What’s NEXT for Disability Employment? Insights from Corporate Leaders

-Stanford Neurodiversity Summit Oct 17-21 Scaling Up the Neurodiversity at Work Initiative (recording will be available in about a month:  https://med.stanford.edu/neurodiversity/ncw.html

-Access Israel: Access Israel’s 5th International Webinar – Remote Employment of People with Disabilities (4 hours—posted soon at:  https://aisrael-global.org/webinars/)

-Whole Community Inclusion and Inclusion Innovations Webinar TOMORROW (Thursday 1022 a 1 pm ET) with Dr Stephen Shore on “Neurodiversity and the four A’s of Autism-Employment.”  https://jewishlearningventure.org/event/neurodiversity-10-22-20/ 

The concerning news?   The unemployment and underemployment rate for people with disabilities was sky high pre-Covid (some estimate the unemployment rate has been as high as 90%), and no one knows what the post-Covid landscape will look like.

In an article entitled “A Million People with Disabilities Have Lost Jobs During the Pandemic,” Allen Smith writes in August, 2020, “Approximately 1 million U.S. workers with disabilities have lost their jobs since the World Health Organization proclaimed the outbreak a pandemic in March, according to the New Hampshire University Institute on Disability.”  In addition, National Organization on Disability (NOD) President Carol Glazer reports that people with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by the coronavirus and its economic consequences.   

Since March, 1 in 5 workers with disabilities have been dismissed from employment, compared with 1 in 7 in the general population, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

These statistics are concerning.  Let’s start planning NOW for what the post-Covid landscape will look like for people with disabilities.  And let’s help businesses find ways to train and hire more people with disabilities. And let’s take a moment to mark the 75th observance of NDEAM–National Disability Employment Awareness Month—October, 2020.   Check out the “31 Days of NDEAM Slide Show—What you can do” slide show.

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