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Recognizing National Disability Employment Awareness Month in October

According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, just 18.7 percent of individuals with a disability were employed last year. In contrast, the employment-population ratio for those without a disability was 65.7 percent in 2017.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), and at Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, we believe all individuals should be given the opportunity to be included and make a positive impact in their communities.

“On a daily basis, our employees help prepare and empower the youth and adults we serve to become productive members of society,” said Devereux Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer Rhea Fernandes, Psy.D. “We see, first-hand, what individuals with emotional, behavioral and cognitive differences can contribute to our surrounding communities. It is wonderful to watch these individuals grow, succeed and unlock their human potential with the world.”

About NDEAM …

NDEAM is a nationwide campaign, observed each October, that celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities throughout American history, and emphasizes the importance of ensuring that all Americans have access to the services and supports to enable them to work.

In keeping with the U.S. Department of Labor’s commitment to ensuring an American workforce for Americans of all abilities, this year’s NDEAM theme is “America’s Workforce: Empowering All.” Learn more about the theme here.

Statistics reveal challenges

While support for disability employment continues to grow, opportunities remain limited. 

A recent U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics report found that the unemployment rate for individuals with disabilities was 9.5 percent in 2017, versus 3.9 percent for those without disabilities. In addition, statistics showed that just 20.2 percent of people with a disability who desired employment were employed. In contrast, the employment-population ratio for those without a disability who desired employment was 69.2 percent. 

Devereux’s employment services

As part of its continuum of care, Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health offers a host of innovative programs across the country that provide instruction and support – across work, community and home environments – for transition-age youth and adults living with emotional, behavioral and/or cognitive differences. 

Programs (which vary from center to center) include:

  • Adult Day Programs: Our day services include day habilitation programs, supported employment, community-based support and skill development. These programs also offer opportunities for recreation and community integration, social interaction, relaxation exercises, the development and support of hobbies and other special interest or leisure time activities.
  • Employment Services: Devereux offers a host of employment and employment transition services and supports for individuals including: pre-vocational training, community-supported employment and pre-employment day programs.
  • Community-Based Living: Numerous community-based services and supports provide independent living options for individuals to reside within their communities through group homes, lifesharing or supported apartments. 

“Our employment programs and services are designed to foster community inclusion and help our individuals develop essential living and communication skills,” said Devereux Vice President of Operations – Adult Services Stephen Bruce, M.Ed., BCBA. “As Devereux continues its mission to help people with special needs prepare for competitive employment – for instance, completing a task, being on time and working as part of a team – we want to spread awareness that hiring individuals with special needs can enhance the workplace – and our community.”

How to learn more …

To learn more about National Disability Employment Awareness Month – and how to get involved by offering employment opportunities to individuals with special needs, click here

To learn more about Devereux Advanced Behavioral Health, click here.

 

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