New Toolkit for Policy Makers/Leaders Released Along with Poll/Focus Group Research Report:
America at Risk: Job Crisis for People with Disabilities – Views on Solutions from 3839 People on the Front Lines
Washington, DC. RespectAbilityUSA, a non-profit organization working to empower people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, is proud to release a new toolkit for policy makers, leaders and activists along with a formal report, “America at Risk: Job Crisis for People with Disabilities — Views on Solutions from 3839 People on the Front Lines.” The toolkit and report are designed those who want to expand job opportunities for people with disabilities based on the real-life experiences and opinions of those most impacted by the crisis of lack of jobs for people with disabilities in America. This issue is important because:
- More than 9 million working age Americans with disabilities survive on benefits, which costs taxpayers billions.
- The employment gap between people with and without disabilities continues to expand, causing people with disabilities to live in poverty and isolation.
- The majority of young Americans with disabilities can and want to work and deserve the opportunity to achieve the American dream.
- The Social Security Disability Trust Fund will exhaust its funds in 2016.
- There are promising practices that can help on all these fronts plus enable employers to access to the real talents since people with disabilities also have abilities that can make our nation stronger.
RespectAbilityUSA’s report, “America at Risk: Job Crisis for People with Disabilities — Views on Solutions from 3839 People on the Front Lines” is based on focus groups in the Washington, D.C. area (one of working age people with disabilities seeking employment, the second of families and professionals supporting people with disabilities who are currently seeking employment) followed by a poll of 3839 friends, families, and professionals in the disability community.
The report highlights that nearly 3 out of 4 people with disabilities polled said that it is more important to them to “have a job and be independent” than it is “that there is a government safety net of benefits so that I will be taken care of.” This holds true across political party lines.
The report clearly shows that this community feels the weight of low expectations. Less than 1/3 of people surveyed in the disability community think that “society expects people with a disability to work” and yet 85% of people with disabilities say that, “having a job is important to their happiness.”
“While the US Census and other reports measure many demographics of Americans with disabilities,RespectAbilityUSA’s report is unprecedented in its size and scope of asking people with disabilities and their stakeholders their own real-life experiences and opinions,” commented RespectabilityUSA President, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi. “People with disabilities need to be heard regarding the policies and practices that impact us the most.”
To get specific information on how many people with disabilities in your area are on government benefits, as well as ideas on how to enable them to get jobs and become independent, go to the resources for policy makers section of our wedsite.
RespectAbility would like to thank SteveEidelman Ph.D., Andrew Houtenville Ph.D., and David Stapleton Ph.D. for their important assistance on this project.