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Advocates Want State Legislators To Do More To Help People With Disabilities Gain Employment

National Disability Employment Awareness Month event held in 2014
US Department of Education / Flickr.com
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US Department of Education
National Disability Employment Awareness Month event, Oct.28, 2014.

October is Disability Employment Awareness Month , but advocates in New York said more should be done in the future.

The Center For Independence of Disabled is pushing for state legislation that would mandate at least 7% labor-force participation for individuals with disabilities working at state agencies, courts, and legislature courts.

People with disabilities have far less of a chance of employment compared to people without disabilities, according to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics. Fewer opportunities and unreliable transportation are two of the biggest barriers for people with disabilities seeking employment.

Executive director of CIDNY Sharon McLennon-Wier said people with disabilities also face the highest poverty. She said stigma is not the only barrier for disabilities to break down.

"We first have to get trained, we have to get the educational assistance that we need to get trained for a profession," McLennon-Wier explained. "And then, we have to have a profession that actually has available jobs for people with disabilities," said McLennon-Wier.

A report by respctability.org ranked New York 41st in the U.S. for the largest employment gap between workers with and without disabilities last year.