January 18, 2022 Breaking News, Latest News, and Videos

From the City’s Desk: Oct. is Disability Employment Awareness Month

By Santa Monica City Disability Commission

As we note October’s promise of a changing season, we note too, this is Disability Employment Awareness month. This is one month in which all the members of this vibrant and world-class city, are asked to raise their awareness that all members of this town be treated with equal respect, inclusion and empowerment, through employment.

I am a relatively recently unemployed, disabled Santa Monica resident, and I struggle every day to remain an independent, contributing member of society. I am enrolled in Santa Monica College, and am an anthropology major,  with a 4.0 GPA. I intend to earn a paid internship, transfer to a four year college where I can earn my Bachelors degree, then move on to graduate work. Through education, I am preparing myself for employment, and a self-sufficient life. However, I need — as does every disabled member of society — those with the power to employ, to see me for what I can do and what I can contribute. 

As of 2017, the National Bureau of Labor Statistics (NBLS), claims 125.97 million people are employed in the United States. Of those,  18.7percent are disabled workers,  32percent of whom work part time. The unemployment rate for disabled workers is 9percent, double the national unemployment rate of 4.7percent. That means over 11 million people in the U.S., who happen to have a disability, of whom the NBLS has records, are unemployed.  Further, the employed, disabled individuals tend to not be in the higher paid management, professional and financial occupations. In addition, data shows that employed disabled workers earn approximately one-third less than those without disabilities. More significantly, eight out of ten people with a disability are not in the labor force, compared to three out of ten people without a disability. 

These statistics represent a significant segment of our population whose employment could and should enhance the U.S. economy. Even with a low general unemployment rate, unemployment benefits represent $2.96 billion tax dollars. What is the economic impact of such a high unemployment rate on the nation, on a community, and on an individual’s sense of independence, inclusion and contribution to society? There is conflicting data about the benefits of unemployment; I won’t pursue that avenue since it doesn’t address the important value of human dignity, and sense of purpose when one is a part of mainstream community.  Why is the unemployment rate so high for those with a disability? How do employers look at job applicants with a disability? How vigorously do headhunters pursue employment opportunities for clients with disabilities? Are schools and colleges vigorously placing disabled students in paid internship positions with possible employers? How does the disabled community get the recognition and equal status as those who are not disabled? 

I urge employers, educational institutions and organizations everywhere, to reach out every week to disabled workers, with the same eager acceptance as is offered to those with no disability.   

Thank you.

Dee Cappelli
Commissioner, Santa Monica City Disability Commission
9/29/18

in Opinion
Related Posts

Santa Monica’s Future: Will Developers or Residents Rule? – Part 2 Our Downtown

January 14, 2022

January 14, 2022

This is the 2nd of five weekly articles looking at the history and current condition of Santa Monica’s beachfront environment...

Column: Let’s talk About the Soil

January 12, 2022

January 12, 2022

Everyone knows that we are undergoing a climate change not seen on the earth before. We all understand what is...

A New Years Glimpse Into Santa Monica’s Future: Will Developers or Residents Rule?

January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

It’s a New Year, a make-or-break year for Santa Monica!! How much do you care about your city and it’s...

Opinion: Attorney General Spurs on Big 2022 Housing Battle

January 7, 2022

January 7, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist There will be plenty of political battles next year, starting with likely reelection challenges to Gov....

Should California Have a Formal Right to Shelter?

January 3, 2022

January 3, 2022

By Tom Elias, Columnist On a de facto basis, Californians have had a right to shelter for many years. But...

SM.a.r.t Wishes for 2022

January 3, 2022

January 3, 2022

We wish for: All California residents to gain back the control of their Cities from Sacramento’s draconian power grab by...

SMa.r.t. 2021 Christmas Card

December 22, 2021

December 22, 2021

Dear Readers, SM.a.r.t. (Santa Monica Architects for a Responsible Tomorrow) wish you all a joyous Holiday Season and a Wonderful...

Seismic Water Resiliency

December 16, 2021

December 16, 2021

This is the 2nd part of two-part article  (see smmirror.com/2021/12/sma-r-t-column-its-not-your-fault/ for the first part) Last week we wrote about the...

SMa.r.t. Column: It’s Not Your Fault

December 13, 2021

December 13, 2021

This is a two-part article Two large tectonic plates are engaged in a titanic multi-million year battle to slip past...

One of LA’s Best Omakase Counters is Tucked Away in a Santa Monica Hotel Lobby

December 8, 2021

December 8, 2021

Sushi Chef Masa Shimakawa’s Soko restaurant offers an extraordinary culinary experience By Sam Catanzaro Tucked into the lobby of a...

Building Conversion in Today’s Market Environment

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

Adaptive reuse, repurposing, and up-cycling of industrial and commercial buildings (“Conversion”) for greater in-demand uses are rapidly becoming the direction...

Opinion: Shore Hotel and Unite Here Local 11

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

By David G. Brown  While reading one of the mass text messages recently sent by Unite Here Local 11 in...

State’s Housing Solution Starts Happening

December 3, 2021

December 3, 2021

By Tom Elias, Columnist It’s happening. Despite the best efforts of California’s highly ideological, developer-financed state legislators, the solution to...

Opinion: SB 9, 10: The Rebellion Begins

November 19, 2021

November 19, 2021

By Tom Elias, Columnist It was inevitable from the moment Gov. Gavin Newsom in mid-September signed this year’s two most...