The newspaper article was titled, "Disabilities Don't Stop Productivity" (October 28, 2000). Robert Landauer, editorial columnist for The Oregonian, cited examples of how large and small Oregon companies alike have successfully tapped into this vast untapped workforce. In closing he summed:
Companies across the country are discovering that the 7.8 million jobless Americans with disabilities who desire to work, including 200,000 here in Oregon, are a valuable recruiting resource for businesses that face labor shortages and have labor needs.
Companies are realizing that most accommodations workers may need cost little or nothing, and business tax credits and deductions are available to offset costs.
Companies are learning that state agencies, such as the Vocational Rehabilitation Division, Commission for the Blind, and Veterans Vocational Rehabilitation Services, and many nonprofit companies and organizations can match qualified workers to job positions, and provide employers with accommodation assistance and coaching.
Companies are discovering tax credits are available to businesses that hire and employ people with disabilities. But more importantly, businesses are finding workers with disabilities are good, productive workers.
In President George W. Bush's New Freedom Initiative, President Bush calls upon employers throughout the private and public sector to actively recruit and hire qualified applicants with disabilities. He encourages employers to expand teleworking and telecommuting opportunities that will open doors of employment opportunity to qualified individuals with severe disabilities who desire to work. Through a number of innovative proposals, President Bush commits his support to:
In an attempt to assist businesses in their recruiting and hiring efforts, this guide has been prepared for employers who may need:
As Robert Landauer aptly titled another article published in The Oregonian (October 9, 2001), Disability Doesn't Mean Inability. Qualified job seekers with disabilities in every community await the opportunity to contribute and participate in the workforce, and demonstrate their abilities and potential for becoming productive team-players.
Hopefully this guide will provide the support and assistance
employers may need