San Diego based non-profit, Employment & Community Options (E&CO) has teamed up with over 200 California businesses to give adults with developmental disabilities the support and opportunities they need to lead independent and fulfilling lives. For most, that journey often begins with a job, which is precisely why The United States Congress designated October National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
In 1985, long before the U.S. government recognized the abilities of adults with disabilities, E&CO was empowering this vulnerable population through employment, life-skills training and independent-
“People with developmental disabilities are willing and able to fill productive roles and work alongside other members of their communities in a competitive employment environment,”
However, many adults with disabilities are still being closed out or laid off from job opportunities. According to the report from the Bureau of Labor Statistics, the jobless rate is 60 percent higher for Americans with disabilities, which is why National Disability Employment Awareness Month is vital for the overall well-being of this vulnerable population.
With the poor economy further restricting employment options, E&CO is getting creative by creating independent business opportunities for its participants, allowing them to have increased control over their lives and careers.
E&CO's pilot program called the Coronado Enterprise Group (CEG) is proving that entrepreneurship is a challenging, yet viable alternative for employment. The CEG is a concierge service that is operated and maintained by E&CO participants. The business venture has been so successful over the past nine months, that similar new business opportunities are currently being explored in both Poway and San Jose.
In addition to providing employment and independent living services to adults with developmental disabilities, E&CO also provides economically-
For more information on Employment & Community Options, including upcoming events, news mentions and a list of California employers, please visit www.communityoptions.org.
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E&CO is a nonprofit 501(c)(3) human services organization that creates and supports opportunities for adults with disabilities and economically disadvantaged seniors in making choices to live, work and enjoy life in their community with dignity and respect. On an annual basis, E&CO serves approximately 1,510 individuals in five counties: San Diego, Santa Clara, Santa Cruz, Alameda and San Bernardino. E&CO is a CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities) accredited provider.