Disability Awareness Training


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  • October is Employment Disability Awareness Month. I am delighted to be here today to raise awareness about persons with disabilities, who want to live fuller lives and be active members of their communities. My theme in this disability awareness training is is “Think Ability.” Our focus today will be on Attitudes toward people with disabilities, Disability Demographics, Accommodations, Working and Living Together, Community Resources
  • “ Disability” is a powerful label that covers a spectrum of situations: visible and invisible to the public. [>] Some people get annoyed when they see a person park in handicap accessible parking, thinking “he doesn’t have a disability.” But anyone can have a disability and it may not be apparent to you. THE MAJORITY OF DISABILITIES ARE INVISIBLE. [>] Having more than one disability is common. E.g. A person using a wheelchair can have a cognitive or mental impairment. [>] Disabilities are dynamic: they can progressive, go through cycles. Some respond to rehabilitation or new therapies. E.g. New medications can have a significant impact on mental illnesses.
  • An example of a disability that is often invisible is a mental health disorder. That disguises the fact that they are so common. The National Institute of Mental Health estimates. [>] One-fifth of Americans have some form of a mental disorder, and one-fourth of American families are affected by it.
  • The Journal of the American Medical Association estimates that chronic conditions, often invisible, affect 45% of Americans. Health conditions, traumas, diseases and other factors can have a dramatic impact on a person’s life. About 1/3 of disabilities in the US are major medical conditions. Work experience can be profoundly affected by chronic and changing conditions that are not classic disabilities. In their extremes, these conditions can be debilitating. The media has opened up our eyes to the fact that a growing number of students are diagnosed with attention deficit disorders. Some of our potential customers and prospective employees have ADD or ADHD. [Optional] A BREAKDOWN OF DISABILITIES IS: 16% - mobility 49% - vision or hearing impairments 33% - major medical conditions [10% developmental disabilities]
  • Largest and fastest growing minority group…
  • The U.S. Census Bureau estimates that there are over 54 million Americans with a disability -- that's one in five, or 20 percent. And some scholars believe that number is too low (they believe the percentage is over 30) because the Census relies on self-selection or self-identification -- and many people are believed to avoid identifying themselves as being disabled.
  • Physical disabilities. Alzheimers & dementia from stroke.
  • Generally considered to be a developmental disorder, largely neurological in nature, affecting about 5% of the world's population. Although often referred to in conjunction with Attention Deficit Disorder (ADD) , ADD is, in fact, not a documented diagnosis, and this common misuse of the terminology actually refers to ADHD predominantly inattentive type. The disorder typically presents itself during childhood, and is characterized by a persistent pattern of inattention and/or hyperactivity, as well as forgetfulness, poor impulse control or impulsivity, and distractibility. ADHD is currently considered to be a persistent and chronic condition for which no medical cure is available. ADHD is most commonly diagnosed in children and, over the past decade, has been increasingly diagnosed in adults. About 60% of children diagnosed with ADHD retain the disorder as adults. Studies show that there is a familial transmission of the disorder which does not occur through adoptive relationships, however adoption-based studies are not reliable in this context. Twin studies indicate that the disorder is highly heritable and that genetics contribute about three quarters of the total ADHD population, though such studies are have been criticized. While the majority of ADHD is believed to be genetic in nature, roughly about 1/5 of all ADHD cases are thought to be acquired after conception due to brain injury caused by either toxins or physical trauma prenatally or postnatally. According to a majority of medical research in the United States, as well as other countries, ADHD is today generally regarded as a chronic disorder for which there are some effective treatments. Over 200 controlled studies have shown that stimulant medication is an effective way to treat the symptoms of ADHD. Methods of treatment usually involve some combination of medication, behavior modification, life style changes, or counseling. Certain social critics are skeptical that the diagnosis denotes a genuine impairment or disability. The symptoms of ADHD are not as profoundly different from normal behavior as is often seen with other mental disorders. Still, ADHD has been shown to be impairing in life functioning in several settings and many negative life outcomes are associated with ADHD.
  • More than one in four people has a mental disorder in any year.
  • Progressive businesses realize that hiring and marketing to people with disabilities makes good business sense
  • The Americans with Disabilities Act signed into law by President George Bush in 1991, defines what a reasonable accommodation is. Equal access to apply & perform job: A job modification or adjustment which enables a qualified applicant or employee with a disability to apply for or to perform essential job functions. E.g. interviews which fit blind or deaf person, work stations that fit a person using a wheelchair. Equal rights & privileges: Adjustments to assure equal rights and privileges in employment for a qualified individual with a disability. E.g. bathrooms, cafeteria, common areas.
  • Myth: Greater absenteeism. Fact: Employees with disabilities are not absent any more than non-disabled employees. (1990 DuPont Study) Myth: Workers with disabilities are less productive. Fact: Employees with disabilities were rated as significantly better in their performance than non-disabled employees. (Bureau of Labor Statistics Survey & DuPont) RETENTION INFO: Retention of workers with disabilities has not been tracked nationally. But anecdotal information from Courage and Lifeworks points at little differences in retention rates between workers with or without disabilities. What is clear is that workers with disabilities that receive long term coaching and mentoring from companies like Courage or Lifeworks have significantly higher retention rates. Myth: Workers with disabilities are safety risks. Fact: Employees with disabilities were noted to be significantly lower in their injury rate when compared with non-disabled employees. (Bureau of Labor Statistics Study) DuPont shows comparable safety record. Myth: Workers with disabilities are too costly to employ. Fact: Fears of higher insurance costs are largely unfounded. (1990 DuPont Study) The Office of Disability Employment Policy of the US Dept. of Labor clarifies fact that insurance rates are based solely on the relative hazards of the operation and the organization’s accident experience, not on whether workers have disabilities. Myth: Accommodations are very expensive. Fact: Most workers with disabilities need no special accommodations. The cost for those that do is minimal or much lower than employers believe. (Job Accommodation Network) Some speculate that accommodations would be costly and devastating, especially for small employers. Studies by the Office of Disability Employment Policy Job Accommodation Network tell a more positive story.
  • A modification or adjustment to the job, the work environment, or the way things are usually done. As defined by the EEOC - U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
  • 66% of accommodations cost from zero to $500. According to the Job Accommodation Network, the average cost for an accommodation is $200. JAN also points out that for every $1 that an employer spends to make an accommodation for one person, $50 in benefits is typically realized. (JAN studies)
  • Reasonable accommodations are sometimes very simple. For one worker, an accommodation simply meant attaching a string to a handle. Examples of accommodation items: Headphones, Custom stylus, Magnifying lens, Pager, Checklist, Work jig, Cordless screwdriver. Examples of process accommodations: Adjusting work station for efficiency, Re-Organizing work flow, Color coding or labeling tools or equipment, Flexing schedules to allow for MetroMobility or other transportation constraints, Coaching & mentoring from support organizations like Courage or Lifeworks. The reality is that accommodations often benefit all employees. Examples: automatic door openers, wrist rests, labeling/color coding in stock rooms.
  • The US is becoming increasingly more diverse. In order to compete in an increasingly competitive global marketplace, the US must tap into all of its potential workforce.
  • Functional limitation: A physical, mental, or cognitive limitation, which creates a barrier to performing or participation in one or more major life activities.
  • We should keep in mind a US Bureau of Labor Statistics projection: by 2010 there will be 168 million jobs available and only 158 million workers to fill them. That will be a 10 million person shortage. It is expected in Minnesota there will be a 242,000 person shortage. * TwinCities Business Monthly , Nov. 2002, p 12 [In 2003 there are 4.3 working adults for every retiree; in 2030 that ratio will be 2.6 workers for every retiree. In MN in 200 there were 600,000 seniors; in 2030 there will be almost 1.2 million.] *8/13/03 City Pages Grandpa Goes to Granada Currently, only 29% working age people with disabilities are working full or part time. More than 9 million potential workers could help fill those vacancies. The MN Dept. of Economic Security forecasts that starting in 2006 the metro area workforce will shrink. [As the baby-boom generation starts retiring in large numbers.] New workers will need to come from pools of labor that have been underutilized: 1) immigrants, retirees, the disabled. The Able To Work Consortium is focused on facilitating attitude shifts and new awareness about the abilities of workers with disabilities. Managed by the National Business and Disability Council, these corporate leaders want business to see the future workforce crisis and consider a strategy to help solve it. e.g. MSP International Airport Director Steve Wareham says, “ABM's partnership with Lifeworks has brought some wonderful folks into our airport.  Thus the Twin Cities presents an inclusive community expression to the traveling public here at MSP.” According to Rotary Intl., a study by an economist at Rutgers University concluded that if an additional one million people with disabilities found employment in the US, annual SSI payments would decrease by $1.8 billion & the use of federal food stamps would drop by $286 million. Meanwhile taxable earned income would increase $21.2 billion. [MAPSE Memo, Spring 2003]
  • Disability Awareness Training

    1. 1. <ul><li>Steve Huisken </li></ul><ul><li>Employment Consultant </li></ul><ul><li>[email_address] </li></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org Disability Awareness Training: Think Ability
    2. 2. Changing Our Attitude A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org The greatest barrier facing workers with disabilities is our attitude.
    3. 3. What is a disability? A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org <ul><li>Physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. </li></ul><ul><li>Person has record of impairment </li></ul><ul><li>or is regarded as having an impairment. </li></ul><ul><li>Mitigating measures </li></ul><ul><li>are taken into account. </li></ul>
    4. 4. Visible and Invisible Disabilities A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org <ul><li>Sometimes visible. </li></ul><ul><li>Many times not obvious. </li></ul><ul><li>Some persons have multiple disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Often undisclosed. </li></ul><ul><li>Always changing. </li></ul>
    5. 5. Invisible Disorder <ul><li>According to the National Institute of Mental Health: </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 5 Americans have some form of mental health disorder. </li></ul><ul><li>1 in 4 families are affected by a mental health disorder. </li></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org
    6. 6. Chronic and Changing Conditions <ul><li>Asthma </li></ul><ul><li>Arthritis </li></ul><ul><li>Diabetes </li></ul><ul><li>Cancer </li></ul><ul><li>Mental health disorder </li></ul><ul><li>Hearing loss or deafness </li></ul><ul><li>Multiple Sclerosis </li></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org <ul><li>Epilepsy </li></ul><ul><li>AIDS </li></ul><ul><li>Heart disease </li></ul><ul><li>Chronic Fatigue Syndrome </li></ul><ul><li>Attention disorders (ADD & ADHD) </li></ul>
    7. 7. Demographics A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org People with disabilities are the largest and fastest growing minority group in the US.
    8. 8. Proportional Growth A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org Steadily growing in proportion to the US general population
    9. 9. Top Ten Chronic Conditions A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org Top ten chronic conditions that cause activity limitations: Chronic condition Number of conditions causing limitations Heart disease 7,932,000 Back problems 7,672,000 Arthritis 5,721,000 Asthma 2,592,000 Diabetes 2,569,000 Mental disorders 2,035,000 Disorders of the eye 1,577,000 Learning disabilities and Mental retardation 1,575,000 Cancer 1,342,000 Visual impairments 1,294,000
    10. 10. Top Ten Most Frequently Limiting Conditions A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org Chronic condition % of conditions causing major limitations Mental retardation 87.5% Multiple sclerosis 69.4% Malignant neoplasm of stomach, intestine, colon, and rectum 62.1% Paralysis of extremities, complete or partial 60.7% Malignant neoplasm of lung, bronchus, and other respiratory sites 60.6% Blindness, both eyes 60.3% Other deformity or orthopedic impairment 54.4% Paralysis of other sites, complete or partial 48.0% Other diseases of the heart, excluding hypertension 47.8% Epilepsy 44.4%
    11. 11. Age & Disabilities <ul><li>Source: McNeil, 1993; Survey: SIPP, 1992 </li></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org How do the levels of disabilities change with age? Disability increases in severity with age.
    12. 12. Attention-Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD ) in the US A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org ADHD is a neurobehavioral disorder characterized by pervasive inattention and/or hyperactivity-impulsivity and resulting in significant functional impairment. CDC estimates 4.4 million youth ages 4-17 have been diagnosed with ADHD by a healthcare professional, and as of 2003, 2.5 million youth ages 4-17 are currently receiving medication treatment for the disorder. In 2003 7.8% of school-aged children were reported to have an ADHD diagnosis by their parent. Report on the “Prevalence of Diagnosed and Medicated Attention-Deficit/Hyperactivity Disorder: United States, 2003” Prevalence Data of Parent Reported ADHD Diagnosis, 2003 Prevalence Data of Parent-Reported Medication Treatment for ADHD, 2003
    13. 13. Mental Disorders in the US A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org How many people have a mental disorder? Source: Bourdon, et al, 1994; National Advisory Mental Health Council, 1993; Barker, et al, 1992; Survey: ECA, 1980-1985; NHIS 1989
    14. 14. Accommodations A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org Sensitivity toward people with disabilities makes good business sense.
    15. 15. Americans with Disabilities Act <ul><li>The 1991 ADA addresses work issues for people with disabilities: </li></ul><ul><li>Equal rights for applicants. </li></ul><ul><li>Equal rights for employees. </li></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org
    16. 16. Employment Myths <ul><li>Greater absenteeism </li></ul><ul><li>Increased safety risks </li></ul><ul><li>Worker benefits are more costly </li></ul><ul><li>Accommodations are expensive </li></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org www.usbln.org/tools/DispellingMyths.pdf
    17. 17. Reasonable Accommodation <ul><li>No specific definition in ADA, but examples are given: </li></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Job restructuring. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Part-time or modified work. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Reassignment to vacant position. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Acquisition or modification of equipment or devices. </li></ul></ul></ul><ul><ul><ul><li>Adjustment or modification of examinations, training materials, or policies. </li></ul></ul></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org
    18. 18. Accommodation Costs <ul><li>66% of time the cost $0 - $500 </li></ul><ul><li>Average accommodation is $200 </li></ul><ul><li>Grants or credits to employers are available in some situations </li></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org 15% 22% 12% 51%
    19. 19. Accommodations Benefit Everyone <ul><li>Work Stations: wrist rests, ergonomic chairs, foot rests </li></ul><ul><li>Electric Door Openers: handy when carrying large items or using strollers </li></ul><ul><li>Visual Cues : color coding, labels, filing </li></ul><ul><li>Re-organization: applying lean processes to reduce movements, arrange materials for easy use </li></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org
    20. 20. Working and Living Together A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org Remember that we all have handicaps; in some of us they show more than in others.
    21. 21. Functional Limitations A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org <ul><li>A quarter of the population over 15 years old has some functional limitation, and nearly one-third of them has a severe functional limitation.      </li></ul><ul><li>Mobility </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Direction </li></ul><ul><li>Self-Care </li></ul><ul><li>Interpersonal Skills </li></ul><ul><li>Communication </li></ul><ul><li>Work Tolerance </li></ul><ul><li>Work Skills </li></ul><ul><li>                                               </li></ul>
    22. 22. ThinkABILITY A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org <ul><li>Focus on: </li></ul><ul><li>Qualifications of the applicant. </li></ul><ul><li>Essential job functions. </li></ul>
    23. 23. Sensitivity Tips – Say This: <ul><li>Person with a disability </li></ul><ul><li>… NOT disabled </li></ul><ul><li>Has a disability </li></ul><ul><li>… NOT a victim of, suffers from, afflicted with, or crippled by </li></ul><ul><li>Has a cognitive or developmental disability </li></ul><ul><li>… NOT slow or retarded </li></ul><ul><li>Has a mental illness </li></ul><ul><li>… NOT crazy or insane </li></ul><ul><li>Uses a wheelchair </li></ul><ul><li>… NOT wheelchair bound </li></ul><ul><li>Limited skills </li></ul><ul><li>… NOT low functioning </li></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org
    24. 24. Points to Remember <ul><li>Person First Language </li></ul><ul><li>See the person , not the label </li></ul><ul><li>Every person is different </li></ul><ul><li>Focus on abilities , not disabilities </li></ul><ul><li>Ask first , offer assistance only if warranted and wanted </li></ul><ul><li>Treat someone with a disability the way that person wants to be treated </li></ul><ul><li>Use common sense and the managing skills you already have </li></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org
    25. 25. Considering the Future <ul><li>In 2010 the US Department of Labor projects a worker shortage of 10 million. </li></ul><ul><li>There are approximately 9 million unemployed people with disabilities. </li></ul><ul><li>Largest and fastest growing minority group with an annual spending power of $220 billion . </li></ul><ul><li>Employing 1 million more people with disabilities would: </li></ul><ul><ul><li>Reduce US annual Social Security payments by $1.8 billion. </li></ul></ul><ul><ul><li>Cut Federal Food Stamps spending by $286 million. </li></ul></ul>A nonprofit serving people with disabilities | www.lifeworks.org