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OP-ED It's National Disability Awareness Month

(as published by CT News Junkie)
by Jamie Lazaroff | Oct 12, 2011
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month. I am employed as a self-advocate coordinator at The Arc of Quinebaug Valley and I love working with my peers in The Arc movement to raise awareness about, and increase opportunity for, individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities.
The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is nearly double the rate for Americans without a disability. This trend has to stop. The goal of the hiring process should be to attract and identify the individual who is best suited for the job. This includes individuals with disabilities.  When we work toward and achieve this goal as a community, both the employer and employee benefit from an inclusive work environment that facilitates the retention of all qualified workers. Connecticut even has a has a new Vocational Rehabilitation Job Creation Tax Credit Program for employers that can help move us toward this goal.