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News and Highlights

By Mark Williams

Know the Impressions You Make. Make the Impressions You Want.

 


There's no avoiding that some of my postings have had a negative slant to them, and a darker casting.  I won't apologize for it; when things are bad, the responsible, mature, beneficial members of the community keep their eyes, minds, and hearts open.  It doesn't matter if voices in the dark speak loudly or softly, but they should be present, meaningful, and contributing.  The contributions don't necessitate relentless or naive positivity, but optimism that's been measured, qualified, tested, and proven carries as much value as the thudding war drums resonating in the deep.  I believe the world ain't all bad, and that's what


According to a Bureau of Labor Statistics report from August, 2014, 80.2% of persons with disabilities are not participating in the labor force. The non participation rate for persons without disabilities is only 31.8% according to the same report.  The latest-recorded unemployment rate for disabled job seekers (from August 2014) stands at 12.8.%, versus 6% for the non-disabled community. These are discouraging numbers, but my point in thi


Cynics say that the belief and reality that people all make and live in one community is an idealist's refuge of theory and abstraction.  I believe this point of view is untrue and damnable, and my reasoning is grounded in the progressing injustice being executed in Ferguson, Missouri.  Michael Brown has been laid to rest, and the facts and judgments surrounding his death are in dispute, but I believe that the circumstances spiraling out from the gunning down of an eighteen-year-old in the street in broad daylight are less important than the undeniable truth that this young man died violently


Click this link to read the August 2014 AbilityLinks Newsletter


             I know I’m addressing women and men with these words, not girls or boys or newborns unaware of how the world works and what civilization expects, so in detailing common topics like motivation and success, I’ll avoid tidy fortune cookie platitudes such as “Believe in yourself!”  You’re adults, professionals who work.  If you didn’t understand the value of belief and perseverance, you wouldn’t be given the responsibilities and rewards that define professionalism.  Keeping this in mind, then, I think I have some information relevant to assisting professional me


I’ll begin with a reminder that this article is written specifically from the perspective of an individual with an obvious physical disability, who self-identifies by nature and choice as an individual with a disability.  Not everyone who has a disability is readily identifiable as a disabled person, for myriad different reasons.  For example, their disability may not be physical, visually recognizable, or they may choose to obscure or deny the conditions and precepts of their disability.  This is their choice, and they are free to make it.  However, an argument will be made in this writing that it is personally and professionally detrimental to either attempt to or successfully hide a disability from an employer or colleague.


As a professional and a job seeker with a disability, I’m often confronted with a work environment that becomes a challenge for me to consistently successfully navigate because of unique difficulties imposed by my disability.  My disability is Cerebral Palsy, and the individual issues that I need to recognize and circumvent on a daily basis are physical in nature, centered on mobility.  This is the perspective through which I will summarize and investigate reasonable accommodation within the workplace, however, I’d like to stress that accommodations are not exclusively physical in nature; any aspect of life, work, and disability can be accommodated.


By Mark Williams

Employers’ hiring decisions may be affected by cultural or individual biases against individuals with disabilities. These biases may be implicit, in that they are not apparent to the jobseeker or the interviewer. Implicit bias can be addressed through training, experience, and policies and practices that promote inclusion, objectivity and measurement.

BIAS IN THE WORKPLACE


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