For people with disabilities, employment means greater economic self-sufficiency, an opportunity to use their skills, and more active participation in community life.
But a disappointing gap exists in this population. While nearly two-thirds of Americans with disabilities want to work, only a third participate in the labor force.*
Recognizing an opportunity
“A gap in employment opportunities and labor participation has long existed between those living with disabilities and those without disabilities. An evolving societal perception that people with disabilities can and should be included in everyday life has led to growing interest in closing this gap,” Josh Cunninghman and Saige Draeger explain in their article, ‘Work Matters: Making Progress in Employment for People With Disabilities’.*
Fortunately, those who recognize this gap have taken action. State legislators, state agency officials, and business representatives from all over the country have come together to put a plan in place to address opportunities in disability employment. After months of collaboration and review of effective practices, the task force identified a number of policy options states can consider in areas like state hiring, education, transportation, technology, workers’ compensation and disability-owned businesses. It’s a good start, but there’s more to be done – especially in the corporate world.
Securian Financial is proud to be a champion for inclusion
It's not just resources at the state level that can contribute to the growth of disabled employment opportunities. Securian Financial is proud to provide opportunities for individuals with disabilities. October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and Securian Financial is recognizing the contributions of associates with disabilities, the innovation that comes with inclusivity, and the value of a diverse workplace. We have a long history of working with Lifeworks Services, a nonprofit organization that connects with people with disabilities to drive change by increasing opportunity and access in the community.
Since 1965, Lifeworks has been a champion for inclusion. It was founded by families who recognized the importance of advocacy and removing barriers for people with disabilities to be part of the community. As a leader for disability inclusion, Lifeworks is committed to self-determined support, careers with competitive wages, and developing innovative opportunities that enhance lives.
Securian Financial and Lifeworks have been working together for over 25 years. In addition to being a long-time financial supporter, Securian Financial currently has seven full-time employees who are supported by Lifeworks — one of whom was recently featured on Lifeworks blog; Proving Yourself Wrong: Scott’s Employment Story
Join us in recognizing the important role our colleagues with disabilities serve in our workforce.