Is your workplace hiring people with disabilities?

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the time of year when people nationwide draw attention to and celebrate the workforce contributions of students and individuals with disabilities.

This year, three Fort Wayne area organizations are doing more than celebrating; they’re collaborating to help regional employers take actionable steps to include more people with disabilities in the local workforce.

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities dropped to 8 percent at the end of 2018, compared to 13.2 percent in 2013. Employers are realizing that hiring individuals with disabilities not only improves their culture, but also impacts their bottom lines, a press release says.

As a result, the Indiana Tech Career Center, the Northeast Indiana Regional Partnership, and Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana, are hosting an event called “Hiring Individuals with Disabilities, A Win for All” on Monday, Oct. 14th, at Indiana Tech.

Thomas Summerville, Vice President of Employment and Community Supports at Easterseals Arc of Northeast Indiana, will share the best practices for hiring, managing, and retaining these employees. The event will also feature a panel of employers and successful employees with disabilities to answer questions.

While unemployment among people with disabilities is lower than usual, there’s still work to be done. The August 2019 Disability Employment Statistic from the Office of Disability Employment Policy with the U.S. Department of Labor cites the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities at 7.2 percent as compared to 3.6 percent for those without.

Local leaders in Fort Wayne hope their event will help turn the tides on these statistics in northeast Indiana.

Attend the event

“Hiring Individuals with Disabilities, A Win for All” is scheduled for Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, from 11:30 am to 1 pm at Indiana Tech. For more information or to register, Contact Cindy Price Verduce at [email protected] or call 260.422.5561. ext. 2217.

Read more articles by Kara Hackett.

Kara Hackett is a Fort Wayne native fascinated by what's next for northeast Indiana how it relates to other up-and-coming places around the world. After working briefly in New York City and Indianapolis, she moved back to her hometown where she has discovered interesting people, projects, and innovations shaping the future of this place—and has been writing about them ever since. Follow her on Twitter and Instagram @karahackett.
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