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FGCU launches free workshops to foster equity, retain workers; Supreme Court throws out race claim in SC redistricting case in win for GOP; as millions hit the roads, MI lawmakers consider extra driving fees; CT groups prepare for World Fish Migration Day.

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U.S. Supreme Court allows South Carolina gerrymander that dilutes Black voters, Sen. Ted Cruz refuses to say if he'll accept 2024 election results, and Trump calls Mar-a-Lago search an attempt to have him assassinated.

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Smokey Bear thought only "you" could prevent forest fires, but decomposing mushrooms may also help, a Native American community in Oregon is achieving healthcare sovereignty, and Colorado farmers hope fast-maturing, drought-tolerant seeds will better handle climate change.

As Disability Employment Awareness Month Ends, NY Advocacy Continues

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Wednesday, October 26, 2022   

As National Disability Employment Awareness Month comes to a close, New Yorkers are contending there is more to do beyond October.

According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is double that of those without disabilities.

Sharon McLennon-Wier, executive director of the Center for the Independence of the Disabled-New York, explained workers with disabilities face numerous challenges on the job. She said in many workplaces, certain stigmas and "able-ism" still exist.

"For some reason, if you don't have a disability, and you come across someone who has an obvious disability -- meaning that you can see it, it's not a hidden disability -- you say to yourself that initial thought of, 'Oh my God, I can't believe that they're doing A, B, and C,' because you can't fathom how that would be if you had that same situation," McLennon-Wier observed.

Other challenges include making sure businesses understand the Americans with Disabilities Act, and how to provide their employees with disabilities what is needed to perform their jobs. She added training and education for companies helps them better understand how to make a workplace accessible.

McLennon-Wier believes there are persistent misconceptions about working with a disability. As a blind woman, she has encountered some of them in her professional life.

"A person with a disability may work slower, or they're not as efficient, or they're not an 'expert' in their field," McLennon-Wier outlined. "There's a lot of preconceived notions that the person may not be as good a worker in comparison to a person without a disability."

She noted of course, these are all myths. And her group wants employers to know employees with disabilities, in a positive and accessible work environment, can have greater longevity with a company, and the same compassion and desire as any other worker to do the best possible job.

Disclosure: The Center for Independence of the Disabled-New York contributes to our fund for reporting on Disabilities. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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