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Mobilizing Georgia voters in a non-election year is crucial for voting rights groups, Philadelphians over 50 will play a major role in the mayoral primary, and the EPA is finalizing a new air quality rule.

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Michigan becomes the first state in decades to repeal a "right to work" law, death penalty opponents say President Biden is not keeping campaign promises to halt federal executions, and more states move to weaken child labor protection laws.

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NV Group Sounds Alarm on Integrated Work for Disabled Community

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Thursday, January 19, 2023   

One Nevada group believes the state needs to prioritize integrated employment opportunities for people living with disabilities.

The Nevada Statewide Independent Living Council believes the state has supported localized efforts in a siloed approach to workforce development within the disability community. They say it simply isn't working.

College of Southern Nevada history professor Sondra Cosgrove, who works with the group, said integrated employment is all about taking jobs and making them a better fit for people looking to work.

She said the COVID-19 pandemic forced many industries to rethink work arrangements - some opting for remote work, which she sees as a potential on-ramp for individuals with disabilities.

"Let's not let this moment pass us by," said Cosgrove. "We now know we can do jobs differently. We know now we can get way more people involved in the work force, because we had to switch on a dime so that everybody could do their job and we adapted."

Cosgrove said Nevada should keep those adaptions and implement new ones. She added that while work models ushered in by the pandemic are great, there are also more traditional jobs that can be better matched to individuals' skill sets.

Cosgrove said the disability community she works with wants self-sufficiency and independence.

Cosgrove added that she fears Nevada employers will want to default back to the way things were before the pandemic. She said many with disabilities are forced to live on welfare programs such as Medicaid and food stamps due to lack of opportunity.

She said part of the solution to help mitigate workforce shortages and rising poverty levels is to implement an Employment First approach that encourages collaboration from state agencies and organizations, ultimately granting this community a chance to work.

"We are integrating a population of people," said Cosgrove, "who just needs a little bit of help and a little bit of grace extended to them to be able to sit into those jobs available in our workforce, but not in a way that makes them stand out like they are different."

The group is working on drafting an executive order to be sent to Gov. Joe Lombardo and hope to have that ready by January 23.

According to the Nevada Statewide Independent Living Council, 40 states have already either adopted Employment First legislation or implemented an Executive Order. They are hoping to be added to that list.



Disclosure: Nevada Statewide Independent Living Council contributes to our fund for reporting on Disabilities, Poverty Issues, Social Justice. If you would like to help support news in the public interest, click here.


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