Employment and Disability

An estimated 386 million of the global working-age population live with disability, per the International Labor Organization, and unemployment is up to 80 percent for this group in some countries. The picture is hardly encouraging in the industrialized world, where claims for disability benefits are as high as 600 percent in some nations. For persons with disabilities, and for workers who become disabled on the job, access to work is often hindered by discriminatory practices and attitudes. Reinforcing the cycle of unemployment for many individuals with disability is an interrelated set of disadvantages involving education, health and class.

While technology provides access to accommodations, it also opens new risks, sometimes making matters worse. As technology continues to permeate the private and public sector, current and prospective employees with disability are increasingly in need of high-tech training, coaching and related services. Yet inclusion remains a distant goal for many people with physical, cognitive and mental impairment.

This topic area will offer a range of workshops, roundtable discussions, and presentations exploring the barriers between people with disabilities and work opportunities. We seek to make a difference and invite individuals and organizations to join with us in seeking inclusive solutions that can have a real impact. We are specifically interested in projects exploring research and practice in the following strategies related to Employment:

  • Customized Employment
  • Supported Employment
  • Integrated Resource Teams
  • Disability Employment Initiative Grants
  • Asset Development & Financial Literary
  • Benefits Counseling & Work Incentives
  • Person Centered Planning
  • Employment First / Partners in Employment
  • Workforce Innovation & Opportunities Act (WIOA)
  • Workforce Accommodations
  • Business Leadership Networks
  • Blending & Braiding Funding Sources
  • Section 508 Compliance
  • Vocational Rehabilitation
  • Career Pathways
  • Supported Self-employment
  • Transition-aged youth

We welcome any other creative topics that address employment and disabilities. The breakout sessions in this strand are designed for persons with disabilities and their family members, disability advocates, VR counselors, employment specialists, high-school teachers and staff, postsecondary education faculty, disability service providers, federal and state agencies.

We welcome all proposals. Please see presentation formats on our webpage at: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/presenters/formats/. Please read criteria for each format and ensure that you have the appropriate number of presenters for your chosen format. You may submit proposals online at: http://www.pacrim.hawaii.edu/submissions or send your proposals via email to prcall@hawaii.edu.

For more information please contact the Employment topic co-chairs, William Mihalke at mihalke@hawaii.edu, or Chin Lee at chinlee@hawaii.edu. For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at cccrocke@hawaii.edu, (808) 956-7539. For registration questions please contact the Registration Desk at prreg@hawaii.edu, Phone: (808) 956-8816, Fax: (808) 956-4437.