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America's 'Radical Elders' continue their work for fairness, justice; SCOTUS upholds law disarming domestic abusers; Workplace adoption benefits help families, communities; Report examines barriers to successful post-prison re-entry in NC.

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A congresswoman celebrates Biden protections for mixed status families, Louisiana's Ten Commandments law faces an inevitable legal challenge, and a senator moves to repeal the strict 19th century anti-obscenity and anti-abortion Comstock Act.

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Rural educators say they need support to teach kids social issues, rural businesses can suffer when dollar stores come to town, prairie states like South Dakota are getting help to protect grasslands and a Minnesota town claims the oldest rural Pride Festival.

Connecting Iowa Employers and Workers With Disabilities

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Wednesday, October 28, 2009   

DES MOINES, Iowa - The unemployment rate among people with disabilities is close to 50 percent, but some in Iowa say it doesn't have to be that way. October is National Disability Employment Month, and the spotlight is on thousands of Iowans with disabilities who are ready and willing to fill open positions.

Even in the midst of a recession, Iowa businesses need reliable workers -- and there's also a huge untapped workforce in the state, of people who need jobs. Connecting them is the job of Steve Wooderson, administrator of Iowa Vocational Rehabilitation Services.

At first, some employers are reluctant to hire a person with a disability, says Wooderson, adding that the biggest misconception is that they can't do the same level of work as a person who isn't disabled.

"They are going to be able to perform the same type of work function, and many times, they are so grateful for the opportunity, you'll see them even putting in more effort than you would have expected. Once we have made that connection, we find that employers are thrilled to know that there's someone there to help them, particularly in tough times."

Not only does his organization pair up employers and prospective workers, but Wooderson points out that it also ranks in the Top Ten in the nation among groups that help people with disabilities become self-employed.




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