The Arc Commends Governor Jack Markell’s New Initiative to Employ Individuals with Disabilities

Washington, DC – This week, Delaware Governor Jack Markell was named Chair of the National Governors Association (NGA). Shortly after his appointment became official, the Governor announced that during his year-long term, his Chair’s initiative will be increasing employment among individuals with disabilities. The Arc fully supports Governor Markell’s efforts and applauds him for his work on behalf of individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and other disabilities.

“Individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities are capable of excelling in the workforce and giving back to the communities in which they live. We commend Governor Markell for bringing national attention to the employment challenges facing individuals with disabilities and for working to create employment opportunities for them through innovative public-private partnerships.  The Arc has long recognized the need for employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities, and we look forward to supporting the Governor’s initiative,” said Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc.

A major emphasis of the Governor’s initiative will be on people who have significant intellectual and developmental disabilities and may require supports like job coaches and personal attendants in order to live and work in the community. Throughout the year he will convene governors, businesses, disability leaders, and other thought leaders. The initiative will focus on educating public and private sector employers and supporting state governments to join with business partners to develop and build out blueprints to promote the hiring and retention of people with disabilities.

The Department of Labor released statistics in 2011 stating that 17.8 percent of Americans with a disability are employed, compared to 63.6 percent of those with no disability.  The Arc’s own research suggests that the employment picture for people with I/DD may be even bleaker.  In 2010, The Arc conducted and received over 5,000 responses to a national online survey called the Family and Individual Needs for Disability Supports, or FINDS Survey, to obtain perceptions of people with I/DD and their families on a range of life-span issues. Only 15% of FINDS survey respondents reported that their family member with I/DD was employed.

“The bottom line is that there are so many people with disabilities who have the time, talent and desire to make meaningful contributions to interested employers,” Governor Markell said. “More companies are recognizing that creating greater economic opportunity for these workers improves their own bottom line as well. It doesn’t matter whether you were born with additional challenges to face or – in the case of our wounded veterans for example – acquired them later in life. What matters is what you have to offer.”

2 thoughts on “The Arc Commends Governor Jack Markell’s New Initiative to Employ Individuals with Disabilities

  1. I am in need a mini van with ramp for my handicapped son I tried so many agencies to help me out to buy that van all of them do not respond tomy request, please help me out my son confined in the house unable to go out due to that situation [Comment edited to delete phone number]

    Also I knew a guy name Moses Fadet who retarded but he is very intelligent no one wanted to help him out to get a job he stays home every day because of that [Comment edited to delete phone number]

    i do no know why those disabled people can get help from anybody
    Berlande (mother of Philippe jean)

    • Hi Berlande,

      Thanks for reaching out to The Arc for help.

      The best thing you can do is reach out to a chapter of The Arc in your area. Chapter staff will know best which resources in the community can potentially help both your son and also Moses. You can find a list of chapter here: http://www.thearc.org/page.aspx?pid=2437

      Also, we encourage you to not use the R word when referring to people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Find out more about that here: http://www.r-word.org/r-word-why-pledge.aspx

      Let us know if we can help in any other way!

Comments are closed.