Labor Day, the first Monday in September, is dedicated to the social and economic achievements of American workers. It constitutes a yearly national tribute to the contributions workers have made to the strength and well-being of our country.
Plus, it’s a great excuse for a barbeque!
Though many of us think of the traditionally able-bodied worker when they think of celebrating the national holiday, we at Easterseals are mindful that an impressive portion of our American workforce is comprised of adults with disabilities who are living successful, productive lives and contributing to America’s prosperity.
Still, the statistically low employment of adults with disabilities show us the untapped potential of the workforce.
“Like any individual, a person with a disability has unique talents and abilities that can contribute significantly to an employer’s bottom line,” wrote Debbie Bell, writer for the Los Angeles Business Journal. “Inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce is not only good for business but our society as a whole. When people are employed they gain self-sufficiency, including the ability to pay rent or buy a home, patronize stores, pay taxes and contribute economically to our communities and nation.” (Read the entire article here.)
Bell added that a common myth surrounding employing someone with a disability is the cost related to providing ADA-compliant accommodations. However, she wrote, most accommodations cost less than $500, and research shows that those who employ people with disabilities see a $28 return on investment in these accommodations. What’s more: The turnover rate for employees with disabilities is 8 percent, as compared to 45 for other employees.
The 2016 Annual Disability Statistics Compendium revealed that Florida businesses could do better in employing people with disabilities. Florida ranks 39th in the 50-state ranking, with an employment rate of 39.1. Compared with Wyoming, the leader, which boasts a 57.1 employment rate for employees with disabilities.
How can we all help? One way Easterseals advocates for those with disabilities is by assisting members of Congress and their staff, White House and federal agency officials, and representatives of other national interests -- as well as citizens like you -- to understand and act in support of policies and programs that help people with disabilities to live with equality, dignity and independence.
Join Easterseals today in educating and informing public officials about issues that affect individuals with disabilities. Join our Legislative Action Network at http://www.easterseals.com/necfl/get-involved/advocacy/ to get started.
This Labor Day, let us celebrate all the American workers who usher in prosperity to the United States of America and recognize the incredible value individuals with disabilities bring to our thriving economy.