Senator Advocates For More Jobs For The Young And Disabled

According to DisabilityScoop, a key United States senator is advocating for more young people with disabilities to become employed by 2015. The website notes that Sen. Tom Harkin, D-Iowa, said that he wants the private and public sectors to grow the number of young workers with disabilities by 250,000 over the span of the next three years.

“The enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, 23 years ago, helped grant the promise of equality to Americans with disabilities. But today, more work remains to be done to knock down one of the last remaining barriers — the gap in workforce participation that exists for millions of young adults,” Sen. Harkin said, according to DisabilityScoop.

Harkin, a well-regarded disability advocate, released a report entitled High Expectations: Transforming the American Workforce as the ADA Generation Comes of Age.

“We have made tremendous investments in the members of the ADA Generation and they are prepared to embrace bright futures,” Harkin said in the report. “However, despite the wonderful progress in physical and communication accessibility, and in the access to education these laws enabled, there is still a great deal of work to be done to fully realize the equality of opportunity promised by the ADA.”

Harkin noted that there was a gap in labor participation rates between adults ages 25 to 34 with disabilities and people who do not suffer from disabilities of more than 40 percent. “This employment gap persists across all ages, from teenagers to 35 year olds, and the disparities are particularly large for racial and ethnic minorities with disabilities,” Harkin said. “There are also significant disparities in the labor force participation rates for young veterans who became disabled as a result of their military service.”

In his report, Harkin, along with the U.S. Chamber of Commerce, set a goal of increasing the number of Americans with disabilities in the workforce by 20 percent—from 4.9 million now to 6 million by 2015.

It should be noted that some of these disabled people who are searching for work might be eligible for Social Security Disability Insurance (SSDI) benefits, which are determined based on a person’s work history. They may also be eligible for Supplemental Security Income (SSI) benefits. If you think you may qualify, contact a Tulsa Social Security disability attorney to help you get the benefits you need. We offer free evaluations of your case, and you may reach us by phone at (918) 265-1404.

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