Celebrate Disability and Employment Awareness Month with the Indianapolis Business Leadership Network on October 8
[Today's article is written by guest author Attorney Juli Paini, Director of the Office of Disability Affairs of the City of Indianapolis, publicizing an event hosted by the Indianapolis Business Leadership Network. Our thanks to Scott Beauchamp of Indianapolis Yellow Cab, a member of IBLN, for letting us know about it. The presence of the article on our blog does not in any way imply an endorsement of Smith Rayl by Juli, the City, IBLN, Scott, or Indianapolis Yellow Cab, and none of them is our client. -- MS/SRLO]
Since the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990, individuals with disabilities have enjoyed the right to equal access in employment as well as barrier-free participation in our communities, from dining in a restaurant to exercising the right to vote. Unfortunately, twenty three years after passage of the ADA, individuals with disabilities continue to experience low rates of employment and high rates of underemployment. According to the United States Department of Labor, this past June only 17.8% of people with disabilities were employed, compared to 63.6% of people without disabilities. This gap remains constant even for college graduates, who experience a 50.6% employment rate compared to that of 89.9% for college graduates without disabilities. (John J. Heldrich Center for Workforce Development and the Kessler Foundation, 2012).
Enter the Indianapolis Business Leadership Network (IBLN), a like-minded group local employers convened by the City of Indianapolis Office of Disability Affairs. The IBLN, based upon a national model, uses a business-to-business approach to further the employment of persons with disabilities and to promote the benefits and contributions of a diverse workforce. Its goal is to create employer awareness through strong partnerships and collaboration, connecting Indianapolis employers with the resources they need to successfully employ individuals with disabilities. The IBLN Steering Committee, with representation from the City of Indianapolis, Indianapolis Yellow Cab, Eli Lilly, WellPoint, Teachers Credit Union and the YMCA of Greater Indianapolis, hosts networking and educational opportunities for central Indiana employers to share best practices and information regarding the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in the diversity planning process.
On October 8, from 8:30-10:30a, the IBLN is hosting "Strategies for Recruiting College Students with Disabilities" for human resource and diversity professionals. The event, held at the Central Library, is free with 1.25 HRCI credits pending. The event will feature national expert Alan Muir, University of Tennessee, Career Opportunities for Students with Disabilities, as well as local experts Greg Fehribach, attorney and Fellow at the Bowen Center for Public Affairs at Ball State University, Larry Markle and Donnelle Henderlong of Disability Services at Ball State University, and Michele Atterson of Student Disability Services at Butler University.