Global Disability Rights Advocate, Christopher Soukup, Available for Comment on Soon-To-Be-Released Annual Bureau of Labor Statistics Disability Labor Report

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“Today’s Deaf and Disabled communities continue to face massive economic suppression.” -- Christopher Soukup, CEO, Communication Service for the Deaf


“Today’s Deaf and Disabled communities continue to face massive economic suppression.”
-- Christopher Soukup, CEO, Communication Service for the Deaf

Background: On June 21, 2018, the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) will release its annual report - Persons with a Disability: Labor Force Characteristics – taking an in-depth look at employment among the Disabled community. Mr. Soukup can provide expert commentary on the report and a more in-depth look behind the numbers. Here is a link to last year’s BLS report: 

WHY: While employment has been improving overall, the Deaf and Disabled communities continue to face significant and persisting challenges. The June 21 report may not address the full story. Here are a few key issues Mr. Soukup can address:

  • 70% of the Deaf community is either underemployed or unemployed – “we must look beyond the story of workforce participation numbers.”
  • In general, deaf people are overrepresented in declining industries and underrepresented in emerging or growing industries.
  • The participation of disabled people in the labor force remained stagnant for years into the current economic boom, and in fact declined annually between 2010 and 2016. Largely, only in 2017, as the job market tightened, did employers start to recruit disabled employees.
  • Deaf and disabled individuals are without jobs at roughly double the rate as the general population.
  • Deaf unemployment is a global problem, for example in the United Kingdom, 1 out of 4 Deaf people quit their job due to discrimination.
  • Workplace and technology trends will exacerbate the challenges. This includes: liquid workforce, our service-based economy being 80% of the GDP, automation, AI, robots, machine learning, voice-activated technology, etc.
  • Hidden biases and misperceptions regarding Deaf and Disabled talent remain significant barriers - Disability as Diversity, NOT Deficiency
  • Certain industries face severe labor shortages (truck drivers, pilots) and yet the Deaf community is prohibited from working in many of these and other industries.

WHO:    Christopher Soukup is one of the leading experts in the world on the Deaf and Disabled communities and a leading advocate for disability rights and equality. Mr. Soukup is the CEO of Communication Service for the Deaf, the world’s largest Deaf-led nonprofit. Employment – namely, continued significant unemployment and underemployment – is one of the most critical issues for today and tomorrow, according to Mr. Soukup. He has closely studied employment and labor-related issues for decades. Mr. Soukup is a member of the U.S. Business Leadership Network Disability Equality Index advisory committee, the National Technical Institute for the Deaf  Development Foundation Board, and a graduate of Gallaudet University graduate where he served as student body president.

WHAT: Mr. Soukup will be made available to media for expert commentary, interviews and background both in advance and immediately following the release of the June 21 BLS annual report.

WHERE: Media interviews with Mr. Soukup must be scheduled in advance with the media contacts below and will be conducted via videoconference such as Zoom with a sign interpreter.

WHEN: The weeks of June 11 and June 18 based on Mr. Soukup’s availability.

Karen Durkin
The Durkin Agency

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Karen Durkin
The Durkin Agency LLC
+1 386-451-4850
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