NATIONAL DISABILITY EMPLOYMENT AWARENESS MONTH

Disability awareness key to workplace inclusion

The American Bar Association recognized National Disability Employment Awareness Month with a program on Tuesday, Oct. 9, highlighting the benefits of workplaces that are inclusive of individuals with disabilities. “Building an Inclusive Workforce” was held at the ABA offices in Washington, D.C., and live-streamed to the Chicago office.

A program titled "Building an Inclusive Workforce" was sponsored by the ABA Commission on Disability Rights and  the ABA Staff Diversity Council

A program titled "Building an Inclusive Workforce" was sponsored by the ABA Commission on Disability Rights and the ABA Staff Diversity Council

Despite the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, the employment statistics for individuals with disabilities are “discouraging,” according to Caleb Berkemeier, a training specialist at Mid-Atlantic ADA Center. Additionally, he said the attitude that people with disabilities are a “societal burden” continues to prevail, though in more implicit and subtler forms than in the past.

Based on statistics from the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, the employment rate of working-age people with disabilities was 36.2 percent compared to 78.9 percent for people without disabilities.

Kymberlee Dwinell, director of Global Diversity and Inclusion at the Northrop Grumman Corporation, said the company of 86,000 employees receives an estimated 1,300 requests for accommodations each year. The requests range from job limitations, to alternate work schedules and modified workspaces. Thanks to a central budgetary fund for accommodations, the company has received more than double the number of requests they had estimated. 

Elizabeth A. Kolbe, associate at Sidley Austin LLP, said the law firm works to ensure that people with disabilities have the accommodations they need to thrive in the workplace. The firm’s leadership is committed to the recruitment, hiring and retention of lawyers with disabilities.

The program was sponsored by the ABA Commission on Disability Rights and cosponsored by the ABA Staff Diversity Council. 

National Disability Employment Awareness Month has been commemorated since 1945 to celebrate the contributions of workers with disabilities and educate the public about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents.  

Despite the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, the employment statistics for individuals with disabilities are “discouraging,” according to Caleb Berkemeier, a training specialist at Mid-Atlantic ADA Center. Additionally, he said the attitude that people with disabilities are a “societal burden” continues to prevail, though in more implicit and subtler forms than in the past.

Based on statistics from the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, the employment rate of working-age people with disabilities was 36.2 percent compared to 78.9 percent for people without disabilities.

Kymberlee Dwinell, director of Global Diversity and Inclusion at the Northrop Grumman Corporation, said the company of 86,000 employees receives an estimated 1,300 requests for accommodations each year. The requests range from job limitations, to alternate work schedules and modified workspaces. Thanks to a central budgetary fund for accommodations, the company has received more than double the number of requests they had estimated. 

Elizabeth A. Kolbe, associate at Sidley Austin LLP, said the law firm works to ensure that people with disabilities have the accommodations they need to thrive in the workplace. The firm’s leadership is committed to the recruitment, hiring, and retention of lawyers with disabilities.

The program was sponsored by the ABA Commission on Disability Rights and cosponsored by the ABA Staff Diversity Council. 

National Disability Employment Awareness Month has been commemorated since 1945 to celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educate the public about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. 

Despite the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, the employment statistics for individuals with disabilities are “discouraging,” according to Caleb Berkemeier, a training specialist at Mid-Atlantic ADA Center. Additionally, he said the attitude that people with disabilities are a “societal burden” continues to prevail, though in more implicit and subtler forms than in the past.

Based on statistics from the Census Bureau’s 2016 American Community Survey, the employment rate of working-age people with disabilities was 36.2 percent compared to 78.9 percent for people without disabilities.

Kymberlee Dwinell, director of Global Diversity and Inclusion at the Northrop Grumman Corporation, said the company of 86,000 employees receives an estimated 1,300 requests for accommodations each year. The requests range from job limitations, to alternate work schedules and modified workspaces. Thanks to a central budgetary fund for accommodations, the company has received more than double the number of requests they had estimated. 

Elizabeth A. Kolbe, associate at Sidley Austin LLP, said the law firm works to ensure that people with disabilities have the accommodations they need to thrive in the workplace. The firm’s leadership is committed to the recruitment, hiring, and retention of lawyers with disabilities.

The program was sponsored by the ABA Commission on Disability Rights and cosponsored by the ABA Staff Diversity Council. 

National Disability Employment Awareness Month has been commemorated since 1945 to celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educate the public about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. 

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