Friday, October 21

Who's Helping Disabled People Find Jobs

Who's Helping Hurricane Katrina's Victims With Disabilities Find Jobs?

By Carmen Cusido © 2005® October 18, 2005

Businesses in New Orleans and in other areas devastated by Hurricane Katrina have "help-wanted" ads outside restaurants and even shoe stores that are looking
for employees in a city that now has more jobs than people. Will they hire people with disabilities?

Nancy Starnes, the vice president and chief of staff for the National Organization on Disabilities (N.O.D), is hopeful that some people with disabilities
are going to find more employment opportunities when New Orleans' structures are rebuilt. "Maybe they will follow ADA guidelines," Starnes says of restructuring
the buildings. She says she knows some restaurants are reopening in the New Orleans area, and they are covered under Title Three of the Americans with
Disabilities Act, which prohibits discrimination on the basis of disability in places of public accommodation.

People with disabilities are some of the most loyal assets in the workplace, and perhaps restaurateurs and other New Orleans employers might look to them
for jobs.

The U.S. Department of Labor also is working on helping people with disabilities who are hurricane survivors to find jobs. The Department of Labor (DOL)
announced a new "Pathways to Employment" proposal to help evacuees and survivors of hurricanes Rita and Katrina find jobs and training opportunities It
provides targeted assistance to people based on individual needs through the nationwide network of 3,500 One-Stop Career Centers located across the country.

Besides providing individualized counseling and assistance to the hurricane survivors, the DOL will deploy additional Disability Program Navigators, or
DPNs, to hurricane-affected areas. DPNs are trained individuals experienced in working with people with disabilities to make employment connections through
the One-Stop system. They also connect people with disabilities to needed benefits and services through the government or community organizations.

No comments:

Post a Comment