Americans with intellectual and developmental disabilities experience very high rates of unemployment. Peter Berns of The Arc discusses efforts toward inclusive workplaces, enhancing the diversity, productivity and quality of the overall workforce. Click here for part 1 of Intellectual Disability Employment.
Interview recorded Sept 27, 2017.
Traynham: I think its important to really hone in on the intellectual and developmental disabilities. What conditions are we talking about?
Berns: So, the most common conditions that people have heard of will be conditions like Down syndrome, or autism-spectrum disorder, fetal alcohol spectrum disorder, Fragile X. But there are literally, you know, hundreds of conditions that manifest as an intellectual disability or a developmental disability.
Traynham: And for the folks out there who would like to know more about your program, where can they go?
Berns: Well, they can go to our website -- www.thearc.org and learn about a program we call TheArc@Work.
Traynham: And speaking of TheArc@Work, I know we talked about this a few moments ago, but are there any programs like TheArc@Work that we should know about that you're working on?
Berns: Well, you know, one of the really interesting things that we're doing as part of TheArc@Work is a program that really specializes on helping individuals on the autism spectrum find jobs in the information- technology industry.
Traynham: Can you give an example of that?
Berns: Well, for example, we've been doing work with The Arc of Philadelphia and SAP in that community --
Traynham: And just so I understand, SAP is a German manufacturer, is that correct?
Berns: SAP is a large, global technology firm. And they've worked in collaboration with The Arc of Philadelphia to identify individuals on the autism spectrum and put them to work in jobs in technology, and SAP's actually doing that all around the world. We?re helping them here in the United States.
Traynham: You know, Peter, I think it's really important to underscore throughout this interview that there are people out there that want to work, but just as importantly, they are perfectly capable to be able to do the job and to perhaps maybe lower and/or erase some of the stigma out there that folks will say, "Hmm, well, this person will have whatever they may have. They're unemployable." That?s just simply not true in all cases.
Berns: It's simply not true and what employers tell us when they provide someone with disabilities an opportunity to work, is that they will be among their most reliable employees and they will have a really positive impact in the workforce. All the other employees in the workforce will appreciate the work that that individual does and the commitment that they bring to the job.
Traynham: I've heard that before, Peter, that, statistically, these individuals actually have a higher work ethic. Their attendance rate is much, much higher. In other words, they're just such a joy to work with, because they're so low-risk in many ways.
Berns: Yeah, we even know of employers that have hired folks in the manufacturing jobs, and the injury rates went down in companies once they hired people with disabilities into their workforce.
Traynham: Peter Berns, CEO of The Arc, it's always good to see you. Thank you very much for joining us.
Berns: It's great to be with you again.
Traynham: And thank you for joining us, as well. For more great conversations with leaders in your community and across the nation, visit comcastnewsmakers.com. I'm Robert Traynham
As the Special Olympics celebrates its 50th anniversary in 2018, we take a look back at the early days, when Eunice Kennedy Shriver created a backyard summer camp for people with intellectual disabilities. Today, there are 4.9 million Special Olympics athletes from more than 172 countries.
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.
Two hundred and forty-six municipalities are served by the Utah League of Cities and Towns cooperative. Recent elected Executive Director, Cameron Diehl discusses services afforded to members statewide.
For more videos and information about your community, go to ComcastNewsmakers.com.
Interview recorded 10/2017
Yolanda Vazquez talks with the Mayor for the City of Seat Pleasant, Eugene. W. Grant. They discuss the Smart Cities program that the city is trying to accomplish. For more information on Mayor Grant and Seat Pleasant, visit their website.