One of the most common questions we are asked as children is, “What do you want to be when you grow up?” For the average child, their answer can be anything. The sky is the limit! For those with disabilities, their answer could be the same but, realistically, their career choices are limited. Organizations and programs such as the Texas Department of Assistive and Rehabilitative Services (DARS) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) offer ways to maximize their abilities and improve their quality of life.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) defines a person with a disability as a person who has a physical or mental impairment that substantially limits one or more major life activity. This includes people who have a record of such an impairment, even if they do not currently have a disability. It also includes individuals who do not have a disability but are regarded as having a disability. The ADA also makes it unlawful to discriminate against a person based on that person’s association with a person with a disability. (Americans with Disabilities Act, 1990)
I believe one of the biggest challenges a disabled person has in obtaining a career is the lack of education provided to corporations when it comes to hiring or working with persons with disabilities. I say this because I have been working as a Manager of Human Resources for, roughly, ten years. I have attended many seminars and none of them offered any information on hiring a person with disabilities or working with individuals that are disabled.
Another obstacle that faces individuals with disabilities is the negative stigma that society labels them. According to Zunker (2012):
“The terms used...
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...eams come true:
• Geri Jewell – She was born with cerebral palsy. She starred on the hit show “The Facts of Life” and also became a comedian.
• Roy Frank Mitte III – He was born with cerebral palsy and starred in the hit show “Breaking Bad”.
• Neil Young – A musician that had epilepsy, polio and diabetes. He overcame all of those disabilities.
• Ludwig Van Beethoven – One of the greatest musicians of all time was born deaf and suffered with depression. Imagine not hearing the notes played on the piano and never hearing the beautiful music that brought so much joy to others.
• Stevie Wonder – Born blind, Stevie wonder is considered one of the most talented musicians in the world. This is proven by the multiple GRAMMY awards he has won.
Thank you to the organizations that have made resources available to the disabled to provide them the best life they can achieve.
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