with Helena Berger of the American Association of People with Disabilities
Posted Oct 16, 2017
Share the Video
Twenty-seven years after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, unemployment rates for people with a disability remain higher than the general population. Helena Berger, President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities discusses the benefits of the Disability Equality Index, a benchmark tool that helps organizations assess where they stand on the spectrum of disability inclusion. This discussion continues in part 2 of Disability Equality Index.
Interview recorded Sept 27, 2017.
Traynham: In August of 2017, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was nearly double the rate for people without disabilities. The American Association of People with Disabilities is tackling this disparity, and they're doing so by providing companies an objective assessment on their disability-inclusion practices. Hello, and welcome to "Comcast Newsmakers". I'm Robert Traynham. With me is Helena Berger, president and CEO of AAPD. Helena, welcome to the program.
Berger: Thank you.
Traynham: So, I hate to say this, but I think I need to double-down on what I mentioned a few minutes ago. That is really unfortunate news that I just mentioned, and that is that people with disabilities, their unemployment rate is just double. How can that be, especially in 2017?
Berger: Yeah. No. I couldn't agree with you more. I mean, think about it. We just celebrated the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act which is a landmark civil-rights law for people with disabilities, and it?s had, you know, a tremendous impact on people with disabilities, but when we look at employment, the needle hasn't moved. It just has not provided or mitigated, I think, the discrimination and a lot of the unconscious bias that we see around employing people with disabilities. And, you know, I think one of the biggest things that are impacting that employment rate are the attitudinal barriers. So, as I mentioned, the Americans with Disabilities Act, the ADA -- an incredible piece of civil-rights law, but you can't legislate attitudes. You know, we see that every day. So, I think that?s one of the biggest barriers that our community, the disability community, is facing.
Traynham: So, Helena, let?s talk about a solution. As I understand it, you all have a Disability Equality Index. Specifically, what is that, and what does it -- First of all, what is it measuring? And what is the intention? What do you want it to do? Berger: Sure. So, the Disability Equality Index is the DEI. It?s a benchmarking tool. It?s a transparent, benchmarking tool that companies can take, primarily Fortune 500 and 1000 companies can take, where they can assess where they are on the spectrum of disability inclusion. It?s a very comprehensive tool, so you look at governance and culture. You look at enterprise-wide accessibility, hiring practices, community engagement. And we give a score, anywhere from zero to 100. Companies that score an 80 to 100, we actually publicize those companies. Companies that score lower, nobody knows about it. This is not a punitive tool. This is not to shame anybody. This is to be working with companies so they improve their disability-inclusion policies and practices. And ultimately, what the end result hopefully will be will be more people with disabilities getting hired.
Traynham: More of my discussion with Helena up next.In part two, Helena delves into how the DEI has assisted companies along their journey toward creating diverse,inclusive workplaces.Click the link below to watch.
The LGBTQ fight for equal rights became organized in 1969, after the riots at New York City's Stonewall Inn. LGBTQ civil rights activist and author Mark Segal has been involved in the movement from its beginning. Mark joins Robert Traynham for a candid and intimate discussion about his life, his role in the fight for equality, and the state of LGBTQ rights across America and around the globe. Mark is the publisher of the Philadelphia Gay News. Interview recorded on May 17, 2017.
The Asian American Pacific Islander community makes up six percent of the U.S. population, but is growing more than four times as rapidly as the total U.S. population. Asians are the largest group of immigrants to enter the U.S. as immigrants. A conversation with Janelle Wong, Senior Researcher at AAPI Data about the fastest-growing but one of the understudied racial groups in the United States.
The 2018 Special Olympics USA Games will be hosted this summer in Seattle, with more than 4,000 athletes and coaches representing 50 states and the District of Columbia. Jason Schriml of the Special Olympics USA Games discussed the impact the games and this organization that highlights athletes with intellectual disabilities through highly competitive sports, uplifting experiences, and demonstrating inclusion for all.
Preparations are underway for the 2020 United States Census. A fair and accurate count of all communities is of major importance, as data gathered is used to determine federal funding, congressional representation and more. For some populations, including Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders, the process can be of concern due to immigration status, language barriers and fear of providing personal information. John Yang, President and Executive Director of Asian Americans Advancing Justice-AAJC joins Robert Traynham to discuss the importance of an accurate count, especially for the AAPI population in America.
Filipino Americans make up the third largest subgroup of Asian Americans today, with millennials comprising nearly a quarter of this population. And while there about 4 million Filipino and Filipino Americans living in the U.S today, this population is underrepresented in political and leadership roles. Brendan Flores, National Chairman of the National Federation of Filipino American Associations joins Robert Traynam to discuss the welfare and well-being of Filipino Americans and efforts to strengthen the personal and professional development of young Filipino Americans.
According to the Pew Research Center, the U.S. Asian population increased 72 percent between 2000 and 2015, resulting in the fastest growth rate of any major racial or ethnic group. And as this population continues to grow, there remains a lack of involvement in politics and corporate leadership positions. Kendall Kosai, Deputy Director at OCA National discussed programs designed to help high school students explore their identity, and encourage them to become future community leaders.
Twenty-seven years after the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act, unemployment rates for people with a disability remain higher than the general population. Helena Berger, President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities discusses the benefits of the Disability Equality Index, a benchmark tool that helps organizations assess where they stand on the spectrum of disability inclusion. Click here for part 1 of Disability Equality Index.
Interview recorded Sept 27, 2017.
Jill Horner speaks with Michaela Murphy, Director of Education from the Bucks County Playhouse, about Youth Programs. Interview recorded 9/13/2017. For more videos and information about your community, go to ComcastNewsmakers.com.
Emerge Fellowship identifes the brightest students in the city and ensures that they know about all of the opportunities that they are eligible for. For most EMERGE students, it's cheaper to go to Harvard than to attend any of the local colleges.
Find Out More:?www.emergefellowship.org
"Yolanda Vazquez talks with Sam Washington, Co-Founder and Director of Community Relations for DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance, Inc. The mission of the DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance is to serve as an advocate for HBCU Alumni Associations by supporting the mission of HBCUs through scholarship fundraising, alumni reclamation and student recruitment in addition to aligning with the National HBCU Alumni Alliances by supporting and participating in programs that promote higher education, encourage healthy living, and fighting hunger. For more information on DC Metro HBCU Alumni Alliance, Inc. , visit their website.
For more videos and information on your community, go to http://comcastnewsmakers.com/
4005 Wisconsin Avenue, NW #9833Washington, DC 20016"