New features have been added to a government Web site to help employers do a better job employing workers with disabilities and to help journalists do a better job reporting on issues that affect those with disabilities. The new Employers’ Resource section and Media Resource section have been added to www.disAbility.gov.
“At a time when our nation is experiencing record levels of employment, the unemployment rate is unacceptably high for individuals with disabilities,” Secretary of Labor Alexis M. Herman said. “This Web portal is another tool to support employers and job seekers in the effort to increase the employment rate.”
Secretary Herman chairs the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities, which was established in 1998 to create a coordinated and aggressive strategy to increase the employment of people with disabilities to a rate as close as possible to that of the general population.
The Web site, announced by President Clinton on the I 0th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act in July, offers a vast array of resources for individuals with disabilities, including information about health, housing, education, transportation, recreation and employment. The new Employers’ Resource section provides businesses access to information that facilitates recruiting, hiring and making easy, low-cost accommodations for employees with disabilities. The new Media Resource section will offer journalists and broadcasters information on appropriate language for reporting about people with disabilities, interviewing tips, and a growing bibliography of publications and films that depict the disability experience.
Already, disAbility.gov has been accessed by more than 160,000 people and has won acclaim from other Web sites. CBS.com has listed disAbility.gov as one of the 100 most useful Web services in America. A recent study by the Harris Research Group indicates that adults with disabilities spend twice as much time on the Internet as individuals without disabilities. The survey also found that adults with disabilities are much more likely to report that the Internet has significantly improved the quality of their lives.
Despite today’s robust economy, citizens with disabilities are continually underrepresented in the nation’s work force. Only three of every ten people with disabilities are working full or part time; eight of every ten who are not disabled are actively employed.
The task force chaired by Secretary Herman is currently collaborating with leading Internet dot-com employment businesses such as Monster.com, BrassRing.com and Webhire.com to integrate disability related employment support tools into their services. Addition of these tools will not only assist the dot-coms’ employer customers in recruiting and hiring people with disabilities, but will also provide job candidates with pre-employment tools such as resume writers and links to federal government job search services.
“We are pleased that some of America’s most successful online employment companies have made it a priority to help employers benefit from the contributions that employees with disabilities can bring to business,” said Becky Ogle, executive director of the task force. “We hope others will join us in our effort.”
“Monster.com is excited to be part of this comprehensive Web portal for individuals with disabilities. We are committed to providing the services and tools that enhance career potential for all job seekers,” said Jeff Taylor, CEO of Monster.com. “Working with the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities allows Monster.com to further strengthen its mission of empowering people who want more out of their career and their life.”
“We are extremely pleased to be able to participate in this worthy endeavor. The technology industry has proven itself to be an area where people with disabilities can truly excel,” said James Sale, Executive Vice President of BrassRing.com.
The Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities was established by executive order of President Clinton in March of 1998. The Task Force consists of the heads of 18 government agencies. Tony Coelho serves as vice chair. Information about the Task Force also is available at www.disAbility.gov.