Unemployed and Disabled

Congress set the day aside to bring awareness and improvement to employment opportunities for person with disabilities. Their slogan, America works best when all American's work.

In the words of J.R. Harding, disabled Americans come in all shapes, sizes and colors, it's the one characteristic that doesn't discriminate.

Yet disabled Americans battle discrimination of all shapes and sizes, including finding a job.

" I focused my education on teaching because that was the only place that cared back then that was only location my physical disability didn't impair me from performing," Harding explains.

Twenty years ago, an accident left Harding paralyzed and with few career choices. Unfortunately, those same obstacles exist today.

"Individuals with disabilities do have a higher employment rate than folks without disabilities," Loretta Costin says.

Fifty-three million Americans are disabled, and statistics show 70 percent of them are unemployed, a figure these Florida leaders hope to change by breaking down these barriers.

"Persons with disabilities face a number of barriers hope through this to try and remove them and work together to provide resources," says Kimberly Moore.

Harding hopes this will put the wheels of work in motion and change the way people see the disabled.

"More accepting of people for skills and not their physical or cognitive characteristics," Harding adds.

The state of Florida recently increased the number of disabled workers through various programs, by 10,000.

On Oct. 15 you can take part in the 3rd Annual Disabled Mentoring Day at FSU's University Center Club.