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Workforce Possibilities for Promotional Products Practitioners
By: Michael Cohn, M. Ed
Promote Awareness

Have you ever thought about working with people with disabilities and not-for-profit organizations?

People with disabilities are entering the workforce more and more due to the advances in technology. Companies have started to realize that there is an untapped pool of people who are available and qualified who have disabilities. Employers looking for new employees may want to consider looking at organizations that work with disability issues because these groups may be aware of individuals seeking work.

The unemployment levels for people with disabilities is markedly high in comparison to the overall unemployment level. This is mostly due to companies not giving people with disabilities a fair opportunity to showcase their skills. Jon Thompson of Opportunity Partners believes that utilizing the skills of people with disabilities can help to reduce a big problem that many companies deal with, high turnover. He has seen that the employees that Opportunity Partners has placed are very dedicated and hard working.

High turnover jobs that many people find monotonous can be exciting and challenging for a person with developmental disabilities. People with physical disabilities may utilize assistive technologies and equipment that allow them to perform the same job as a not-disabled co-worker. There are financial resources available for companies to assist with the cost of implementing assistive technology. For example state funding through a department called Department of Rehabilitation Services can loan or sponsor equipment. Some employees own their own equipment and do not mind bringing it with them because they are used to the product.

Many Fortune 500 companies employ people with disabilities in a variety of capacities. Government funding has enabled many companies to adapt the workplace to accommodate employees with disabilities. The hardest part for a potential employee with disabilities is gaining acceptance from the people conducting the interview. Once that barrier is passed, the job possibilities increase greatly.