ADA Anniversary Reminds Us Florida Can and Should Do More to Employ All Floridians
By: Whitney Harris
On July 26, 1990, the Americans with Disabilities Act was signed into law, prohibiting discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, transportation and more. While our nation has made great strides to ensure persons with disabilities are able to enter the workforce, Florida can and should do more to to employ all Floridians.
Research from the Florida Chamber Foundation shows there are more than 700,000 Floridians with disabilities are not in the workforce. This report, Quantifying the Unemployment Rate for Workers with Disabilities in Florida, analyzes the working-age population in Florida and quantifies the unemployment rate by county for Florida’s potential workforce with disabilities, using the latest data available.
As Florida businesses work to meet growing needs for workforce, both those Floridians with disabilities who are currently unemployed, as well as those who are not currently in the workforce can be potential employees for Florida companies.
To help in this arena, the Florida Chamber Foundation and The Able Trust have developed an internship program to help businesses access this talent pool. Research has also shown that companies who offer internships to people with disabilities are more likely to overcome misconceptions associated with disabilities and hire within this population when filling future jobs. Matching talented interns with businesses throughout Florida will help meet the long-term goal of closing the gap on the unemployment rate of Floridians with disabilities.