Attitudes are important influencers affecting the employment and retention rate of people with disabilities. Key issues include:
- Whether job seekers with disabilities and their families perceive themselves as able to work and support themselves financially through working.
- Whether employers and coworkers perceive the employment and retention of people with disabilities as profitable for their organization.
- Whether service providers, including workforce development professionals, perceive that people with disabilities are capable of working.
Recognizing that changing attitudes within all three of these groups is critical to improving employment opportunities for people with disabilities, ODEP has spearheaded a variety of initiatives, including:
- Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE)/"What can YOU do?" ODEP-funded collaborative effort among several leading disability and business organizations to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities by encouraging employers and others to recognize the value and talent they bring to the workplace and implement flexible and inclusive workplace practices. Toolkits are available for each of the CDE’s public service announcements:
- “Working Works” Outreach Toolkit
- “Who I Am” Outreach Toolkit
- “Because” Outreach Toolkit
- “I Can” Outreach Toolkit
- National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) Annual effort led by ODEP to raise awareness about disability employment issues and celebrate the contributions of America's workers with disabilities.
- Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society (PBATS)/DOL PSAs PBATS and DOL developed two public service announcements (PSAs) featuring former Major League Baseball players Bo Jackson and Curtis Pride.
- Survey Employer Perspectives on the Employment of People with Disabilities National survey that explored employer attitudes and practices related to disability employment among companies of varying sizes across 12 industries, including several identified as high-growth.
- Summary report (PDF)
Additional resources related to attitudes about the abilities of people with disabilities include:
- Spread the Word to End the Word/"R-Word" Campaign Ongoing effort by Special Olympics, Best Buddies International and supporters to raise awareness about the demeaning and hurtful effects of the word "retard(ed)" and encourage people to pledge to stop using the R-word.
- Stereotypes About People with Disabilities Article from the Disability History Museum about stereotypes, myths, and attitudinal barriers faced by many people with disabilities.