Saturday, August 28, 2010

AAPD applauds U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis for her focus on disability employment

The AAPD release:

WASHINGTON, D.C. –– The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD), the country’s largest cross-disability membership organization, applauds U.S. Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis for her focus on disability employment after Wednesday’s release of data that focused for the first time on the employment status of persons with a disability from the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics.

The data included information about the employment-population ratio for people with disabilities and the unemployment rate of persons with a disability for 2009. The information from the release was obtained from the Current Population Survey (CPS), which had questions added to it in June 2008 that were designed to identify persons with a disability, and 2009 was the first calendar year for which annual averages were available.

“I’ve worked for two decades to get the Department of Labor to pay attention to disability issues, and I’m excited at the steps taken under Secretary Solis to include people with disabilities in employment data,” said Tony Coelho, AAPD’s board chair.

Although the Department of Labor is making strides in collecting and releasing the data, the data shows we have more work to do regarding people with disabilities and employment. The data said that for all age groups, the employment-population ratio was much lower for persons with a disability than for those with no disability; unemployment rate of persons with a disability was well above the rate of those with no disability; persons with a disability were more than three times as likely as those with no disability to be age 65 or over; and nearly one-third of workers with a disability were employed part time, compared with about one-fifth of those with no disability.

“We appreciate the attention paid to the disability community by the Department of Labor, and we look forward to working with Secretary Solis to improve employment outcomes for people with disabilities in the future,” said Andrew J. Imparato, AAPD’s President and CEO.

This information comes after several important initiatives supported by AAPD including President Barack Obama’s Executive Order to increase the federal employment of individuals with disabilities and the Labor Department’s decision to seek input on ways to strengthen its regulations requiring federal contractors to employ qualified individuals with disabilities.

For additional information about the release, please visit