The Campaign for Disability Employment Encourages Youth with Disabilities to Aim High

by admin on October 28, 2010 · 4 comments

At work, it's what people can do that matters

The Campaign for Disability Employment includes a number of print ads and video PSA's which can be downloaded on the site as well as resources specifically geared towards youth employment.

Ask any child what he or she will do when they grow-up and you’ll receive a multitude of different answers. Typically, you’ll hear teacher, doctor, nurse, veterinarian, fire fighter, President and even an occasional superhero.  Why?  Because these are the occupations that many children are exposed to while very young.

Are career aspirations any different for a child with a disability?  I think not, but how many youth with disabilities become what they said they would when they were a child?  Did they have positive role models and mentors who encouraged them to focus on their ABILITY to achieve or were they told they could not or should not aim high because of a disability?

Sometimes youth with disabilities are discouraged from aiming high in their career aspirations because parents, caregivers or youth influencers naturally want to keep them safe from harm or failure.  They may communicate low expectations when it comes to success or discourage taking risks or seeking new challenges.  This fear of failure or harm can limit a child from reaching his or her full potential.  Alternatively, when a child is encouraged to aim high and is motivated to succeed, he or she is more likely to set and reach employment goals.

The Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE), a collaborative effort among several disability and business organizations, funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, has launched “What can YOU do?” – an initiative to encourage everyone, including youth with disabilities, to elevate perceptions about what people with disabilities CAN do on the job, when given the opportunity.

We know the current employment rate for people with disabilities is low — just 22.0 percent compared with 70.2 percent for individuals with no disability according to recent Bureau of Labor Statistics numbers .  “What can YOU do?” is a positive outreach initiative, aimed at driving the employment rate of people with disabilities up by changing disability employment misperceptions.  The initiative sends a clear message: people with disabilities want to work and their talents and abilities benefit businesses in every way imaginable.

Asking the question, “What WILL you do?” the CDE is encouraging youth with disabilities to set goals for employment, aim for success and focus on what they CAN do to contribute to America’s businesses when prepared to enter the labor force. Youth with disabilities are encouraged to visit the Youth with Disabilities community-building section of the CDE website.  There, they can share what they WILL do to achieve career goals and increase awareness about the many ways today’s youth plan to become tomorrow’s leaders.

Also, the CDE invites family, educators and other youth influencers to visit whatcanyoudocampaign.org to access information and tools, such as resources for job training, career development, mentoring and internships, to support youth as they develop career aspirations or transition to employment.

Among the tools and resources available are the CDE’s “I Can” public service announcement (PSA), accompanying “I Can” PSA Youth Discussion Guide – Fostering CAN-Do Attitudes Among Youth and Young Adults and the “What can YOU do?” Poster Series.

The “I Can” PSA is a montage of seven people with disabilities sharing what they “can do” on the job when given the opportunity. It reflects the diversity of skills people with disabilities offer, to challenge common misconceptions about disability and employment, and reminds everyone that at work, it’s what people CAN do that matters.  “I Can” is airing nationally and has earned more than $8 million in donated media time.

During National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), the CDE is collaborating with AMC Entertainment to bring “I Can” to select movie theaters nationwide.  Paired with the “I Can” PSA Youth Discussion Guide, “I Can” can be used to facilitate conversations among all youth about not making assumptions about what a person can or can’t do based upon a disability.

It is important that people value each individual for his or her skills and talents and that youth with disabilities are supported and encouraged to dream big when it comes to developing career goals.  To learn more about how you can support successful employment outcomes for people with disabilities, visit whatcanyoudocampaign.org.

The Campaign for Disability Employment (CDE) is a collaborative effort among several leading disability and business organizations that seek to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities. The CDE partners include:

Guest Blogger Tracie D. Saab is the Project Manager for the Campaign for Disability Employment

{ 4 comments… read them below or add one }

1 Jared Levine October 28, 2010 at 7:53 pm

My name is Jared and as a student with a multitude of social dicibilities. However I am confident in the fact that anyone, can do anything if given the proper opporunity. Provided that employees and coworkers identiy the dynamics involved with personal strengths and weakneses; there will be total success for every individual and the company as a whole. It is within the fine line that seperates enabling and supporting where people are able facilitate positive change.

2 Jared Levine October 28, 2010 at 7:56 pm

My name is Jared and as a student with a multitude of social disabilities. However I am confident in the fact that anyone can do anything if given the proper opportunity. Provided that employees and coworkers identify the dynamics involved with personal strengths and weakness; there will be total success for every individual and the company as a whole. It is within the fine line that separates enabling and supporting where people are able facilitate positive change.

3 Faqs Nick August 20, 2011 at 4:54 am

I think this campign is great and also very important ,
I hope it will succeed!
Thank you for sharing with us!

4 makita June 7, 2012 at 9:27 am

Thinking of this campaign is a little bit drama, Seeing to the realistic world is harsh to person with disabilities. Hoping that this campaign would success

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