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Office of Disability Employment Policy
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ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy - Driving Change Creating Opportunity

Changing Attitudes

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:

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.