President of Policy Works
- Newly released data from the Social Security Administration reveal that the number of Americans collecting disability payments is at an all-time high — 10,962,532 — Even more alarming, is The percentage of disabled people among America’s “senior citizen” population (i.e., people over 50) is now over 50%.
- These statistics are increasing every year at an alarming rate with numbers higher than ever recorded before.
- The U.S. Census Bureau, reports that there are an estimated 50 million Americans, roughly one in six, with disabilities of all ages, religions, and ethnic background.
Since 1973, the federal government, beginning with the Rehabilitation Act, has been passing laws and working to protect the rights of people with disabilities in the United States. It has been 24 years since Congress passed the Americans with Disability Act [ADA] in 1990. The ADA act prohibits private employers, state or local governments, employment agencies and labor unions from discriminating against qualified individuals with disabilities in job application procedures, hiring, firing, advancement, comprehension, job training and other terms, conditions, and privileges of employment. It is difficult to compile accurate statistic regarding the official unemployment rate for persons with disabilities of working age, but it is at least twice or even triple that for those who are considered able bodied.
Sadly, Americans with disabilities of working age are still struggling with discrimination and an unequal pay scale in the job market. These alarming rates are about to get a lot worse as our veterans return from the Middle East and as we age.
What can we do to change the unbalance and level the playing field? Sometimes I feel no one is listening. So many of us want to make a difference in this world we live in. So let us stand together and raise our voices. If we don’t start to care about one another we will all lose in the end. You may not know me, but we are all sisters and brothers. Dancing on our Disabilities Radio and Barbara Butz , disability advocate, who is the President of Policy Works examine the issues and the various possible solutions. We are all better together. THERE IS POWER IN NUMBERS!
Click here to listen to Barbara’s Interview:
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About Barbara Butz
Barbara’s career has included top leadership positions in employment and disability services at a local,state and national level. She served as the Assistant Secretary of Labor for Florida and worked for five years as the Coordinator for National Employment Initiatives for the Social Security Administration. She now serves as President and CEO of PolicyWorks, a national nonprofit that helps individuals with disabilities achieve independence through employment. Current projects include a college to career transition program and work on national disability employment policy.
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