By Brian Peters, Housing Policy Advocate
There’s no denying that these past years have seen some tough times for people. Slate has put together an eye-popping feature that illustrates the level of poverty in counties across the United States, and how it has changed between 2007 and 2010. Check it out.
Poverty is a serious issue, one that people with disabilities as a group know too well. People with disabilities tend to have lower income than the rest of the population. More than 1 in 4 with disabilities live in poverty. Employment continues to be a challenge for many people with disabilities.
Sure, the federal government tries to be a role model when it comes to hiring people with disabilities, but the sad fact is, communities that receive funding for employment assistance don’t always do a good job when it comes to ensuring that job programs and services in the community are accessible to persons with disabilities.
What can you do? Check your company’s hiring policies. Does your company make an effort to reach out to people with disabilities? Are they able to accommodate? Do the job programs in your community reach out to people with disabilities?
For those who cannot work, are the benefits and assistance in your community good enough to help someone who is living in poverty? Do you think SSI, SSDI, food assistance, etc. offer an amount enough to help someone? Is there enough housing assistance? In other words, are your community’s safety net and programs what they should be?
If the answer to any of these questions is no, what are you going to do about it? Will you reach out to legislators, community leaders, business community, etc. to insist we can do better?