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Support the Employability of New Yorkers with Disabilities

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The New York State Independent Living Council (NYSILC) wrote a letter to Governor Cuomo to encourage him to support the NGA Chair’s Initiative “A Better Bottom Line,” make it a priority in 2014 and initiative programs to improve the employability of ALL New Yorkers with disabilities. We deserve an opportunity to achieve economic self-sufficiency!

The letter makes recommendations and insists there must be an over-arching goal of reducing the employment gap for New Yorkers with disabilities by 10-15% over the next 10 years utilizing a comprehensive program of targeted strategies.This should include a cross-disability Employment First policy, tax credits, competitive exam points, State contract affirmative disability owned businesses opportunity, competitive integrated employment options for ALL New Yorkers with disabilities.

WHY IS THIS IMPORTANT?

New Yorkers with disabilities face some startling equal opportunity gaps:
• The employment rate for a New Yorker with a disability (ages 18-64) is 31.2% compared to 72% for a person without a disability resulting in a gap of 40.8 percentage points.
• The poverty rate for New Yorkers with disabilities ages 18 to 64 living in the community is 28.6%, which is more than twice that of persons in our state without disabilities (12.3%).
• Among civilians age 16 or older during the last 12 months, New Yorkers with disabilities earned $10,903 less on average compared to a person without a disability ($21,581 versus $32,484).
• Labor force participation rates by race and disability (25-34 years of age) note large gaps for racial and ethnic minorities with disabilities (a 44.5% gap between Black disabled and non-disabled individuals and a 35.7% gap between Hispanic/Latino disabled and non-disabled individuals).

Go to www.nysilc.org to review a copy of the letter (PDF and text versions). See also a section about the NGA Chair’s initiative report (PDF and text versions).



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