Now is a critical time for the State of Georgia to make a difference. It is crucial for lawmakers to keep important funds in its budget for people with developmental disabilities. Currently, Georgia ranks 49th in the nation in how it supports people with disabilities.
A coalition of advocacy groups have asked the General Assembly to help 2014 high graduates find and keep jobs. The House added $250,000 for the supportive employment program. The Senate boosted it to $500,000.
Many Georgia employers have enjoyed the benefits of the hard-working employees who outperform their non-disabled peers. Publix, Walgreens, Home Depot, The Georgia Aquarium, P.F. Chang’s, Kroger and Hamilton Health Care in Dalton tell of these workers’ strengths. The employees with developmental disabilities exhibit lower turnover, lower absenteeism rates, strong job loyalty, increased morale and enhanced image as a resulting of hiring a different type of worker. There is untapped potential here.
Even though the national unemployment rate hovers at seven per cent, it is 80 per cent for people with developmental disabilities. This funding can help combat that dismal statistic.
“We need this funding to provide necessary job development and job coaching so that people with developmental disabilities can experience what many of us take for granted: the satisfaction and economic security that only a job can provide,” said Kathy Keeley, executive director of All About Development Disabilities.
Soon the budget will go to Governor Nathan Deal’s desk.
You can read more about Ms. Keeley’s comments: http://www.myajc.com/news/news/opinion/employ-the-disabled/nd4xq/