Friday, September 18, 2015

States Focus on Job Opportunities

Michael Bethke, 19, works part time at a grocery store in Clark, South Dakota. He started out as an intern through the state’s Project Skills program for high school students with disabilities, and now performs tasks like unloading vans. “I like it a lot,” he says of his job.It’s been 25 years since the Americans With Disabilities Act prohibited employment discrimination against people with disabilities. Yet as the nation celebrates the law’s anniversary, a stark divide remains: men and women like Bethke are still less likely to have jobs than people who don’t have a disability.About a third of the more than 20 million working-age Americans who have a sensory, mental or physical disability are employed, according to an analysis of 2013 U.S. Census data by the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. At the same time, other surveysshow people with disabilities want to work.

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