Tuesday, December 9, 2008

Disabled Workers Are "Last Hired, First Fired"

In an article titled "Recessions Bite Hits Americans With Disabilities Extra Hard," Amanda Ruggeri of U.S. News & World Report says people with disabilities are losing jobs at a rate higher than nondisabled workers. "People with disabilities tend to be the last hired and the first fired," according to Rick Diamond, director of employment services at Disability Network/Lakeshore in Michigan.

This problem is even worse when you consider the vast employment gap that already exists. In 2007, the employment rate for working-age people with disabilities was 36.9 percent (lower than in the previous year). By contrast, the employment rate for people without disabilities was 79.7 percent (the same as the previous year).

People with disabilities are also facing cuts in government funding that threaten programs that provide needed support. I don't see any easy answer to this problem. What do you think should be done?
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