SourceAmerica Issues Reports on Future of Work for People with Disabilities

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Reports Offer New Insights Into Trends Affecting Workplace Inclusion And Show How Some Top Companies Are Leading the Way

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“People with disabilities are being left out of the economy at a staggering rate,” said Steven Krotonsky, Chief Operating Officer for SourceAmerica. “These new reports shine a light on some of the reasons why and on some of the ways we can address this important issue."

The United Nations designates December 3 each year as International Day of Persons with Disabilities; this year’s theme is “Empowering persons with disabilities and ensuring inclusiveness and equality.” SourceAmerica®, a leading source of job opportunities and choices for individuals with disabilities, published two reports today that build on this theme. In addition to including important insights into trends shaping the future of employment and societal inclusion for people with disabilities, these reports challenge employers and policymakers to think differently about how to make employment more accessible.

Worldwide, nearly one in six are persons with disabilities, a group disproportionately underrepresented in the economy. It is estimated that countries forgo up to 7 percent of Gross Domestic Product (GDP) due to the exclusion of persons with disabilities. In the United States, an estimated $150 billion is left out of the economy due to people with disabilities being unemployed and not paying taxes.

“People with disabilities are being left out of the economy at a staggering rate,” said Steven Krotonsky, Chief Operating Officer for SourceAmerica. “These new reports shine a light on some of the reasons why and on some of the ways we can address this important issue."

The Future of Work and Inclusion of People with Disabilities report is the latest in a series from SourceAmerica’s Social Enterprises of the Future initiative, a collaborative effort to shape the future of inclusion of people with disabilities in the United States labor market. This report summarizes a panel discussion held at SourceAmerica’s national conference between representatives of The Aspen Institute Future of Work Initiative, The Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies (G3ict), Special Olympics International and the United States International Council on Disabilities (USICD), moderated by Frances West, founder of FrancesWestCo.

“These reports are the result of significant collaboration between the disability community and public and private sector representatives,” Krotonsky said. “We believe this type of collaboration is essential to creating employment choices and opportunities for individuals with disabilities and to building an inclusive economy that works for everyone.”

The Journey of Employment: WorkUnified Talks report stems from a partnership between Special Olympics and SourceAmerica that focuses on increased societal inclusion of people with disabilities. This report summarizes a series of talks between athletes and employers at the Special Olympics 2018 USA Games designed to raise awareness, promote shared learning and encourage higher levels of workplace inclusion. The WorkUnified talks featured people with disabilities relating their individual journeys of employment, and representatives of Amazon, Bank of America, Special Olympics, Global Connections to Employment, and SourceAmerica’s Pathways to Careers™ program were on hand to address the challenges and successes they have encountered in their efforts to more fully incorporate workforce inclusion into their corporate culture.

Key findings and recommendations from The Future of Work and Inclusion of People with Disabilities and The Journey of Employment: WorkUnified Talks reports, as well as earlier reports from the Social Enterprises of the Future initiative can be found at https://www.sourceamerica.org/future-of-work.

About SourceAmerica:
Established in 1974, SourceAmerica creates job opportunities for a skilled and dedicated workforce of people with significant disabilities. SourceAmerica is the vital link between the federal government and private sector organizations that procure the products and services provided by this exceptional workforce via a network of more than 750 community-based nonprofits. Headquartered in Vienna, Virginia, SourceAmerica provides its nonprofit agency network with business development, contract management, legislative and regulatory assistance, communications and public relations materials, information technology support, engineering and technical assistance, and extensive professional training needed for successful nonprofit management. Visit SourceAmerica.org to learn more, or follow us on Facebook (@SourceAmerica), Twitter (@SourceAmericaUS) and LinkedIn (@SourceAmerica).

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