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Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

Employment First Wisconsin invites you to join us in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness month this October. Employment First Wisconsin is a cross disability coalition of people with disabilities, family members, advocates, providers, community organizations and businesses that are working together to increase community employment options for people with disabilities. Disability Rights Wisconsin is a member of this exciting statewide movement!

We are part of a national movement of over 30 states improving their economies by getting more people with disabilities jobs in the community. Our goal is to double the number of people with disabilities in long term care programs in community employment by 2016. Many businesses are seeing the benefits of hiring people with disabilities. Companies like Walgreens, CVS, Starbucks, Pepsi, Hyatt, Culvers, Super 8 and Bank of America have already initiated large-scale outreach efforts to the disability community. Wisconsin Manufacturers and Commerce has already signed on to the Employment First Initiative in WI.

Here are some facts we think you will be interested to learn:

  • People with disabilities are underemployed
  • Wisconsin’s working-age employment rate for individuals without disabilities is near 70%, but only 37% for individuals with disabilities.
  • People who work rely less on public support
  • Evidence shows that being employed is directly linked to reduced use of both cash public benefits, and healthcare.
  • Employing people with disabilities is good for businesses and the economy
  • People with disabilities make quality, committed employees. The turnover for employees with disabilities is 8% in comparison to 45% for other workers.
  • It grows businesses bottom line. People with disabilities in the U.S. have an annual spending power of $796 billion

You may also be interested in hearing stories of Wisconsin youth who are working successfully in community jobs. Click here to read: “Stories of Wisconsin Youth in Community Jobs” which provides a glimpse at the shift Wisconsin is making to community based employment for youth and adults with disabilities.

Employment First Wisconsin is asking you to join us in supporting National Disability and Employment Awareness month by:

  • Supporting Employment First Policy and Legislation in Wisconsin. Many states have adopted statewide policy change and/or legislation that support Employment First
  • Signing on to the Employment First Coalition. Be a member of the Wisconsin Employment First Coalition. Join the EF on line group—get progress reports and statewide/national updates
  • Participating in the Take Your Legislator to Work Campaign. If you have any questions or would like get more involved in Employment First Wisconsin, contact Ann Sievert.