JARC FL Puts Focus on Disabled Workers During National Disability Employment Awareness Month
One Million Disabled Workers Lost Their Jobs Because of COVID-19; One out of Five Workers with a Disability Lost Their Job Compared to One out of Seven Able-Bodied
By: JARC Florida
The JARC FL Adult Day Training (ADT) program is designed to train and provide critical skills to adults with disabilities in the comfort of the JARC campus. Once the workers graduate to the Community Works Program, they are given work out in the community at local businesses including restaurants, country clubs and retail businesses.
Before the pandemic, JARC FL had over 150 clients a day come through the ADT program; today just 35 are participating. At the Community Works Program's height, 70 JARC FL clients worked at 14 South Florida businesses (including Sinai Residences of Boca Raton, Farmer's Table, Woodfield Country Club, Addison Reserve Country Club and KMART) completing tasks ranging from chopping and portioning food, folding napkins and more. Today, only five are back working – and most partial hours.
According to Nancy Freiwald, Director of Program Services for JARC FL, many of the employees feel as though they have been discounted. "This is a critical part of our clients' daily routines. Their employment is essential to their daily life and sense of self-worth,"
National Disability Employment Awareness Month is a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many and varied contributions of America's workers with disabilities.
· According to the U.S Bureau of Labor Statistics, in 2019, 19.3% of persons with a disability were employed. In contrast, 66.3% of those without a disability were employed.
· The unemployment rate for person with a disability was just 7.2% in August of 2019; it nearly doubled to 13.2% in August of 2020, according to Kessler Foundation and University of New Hampshire nTIDE report.
· Since the pandemic began, 1 in 5 workers with disabilities lost their jobs, compared to 1 in 7 abled-bodied workers, according to that same report.
About JARC FL
JARC Florida, a non-sectarian organization based in Boca Raton, provides group homes, apartments and vocational training for adults with developmental disabilities. It strives to assist each individual with becoming all he or she is capable of being and encourages this growth in a caring, nurturing environment. It is the mission of JARC, in partnership with the families of its clients, to promote independence, dignity, and self-respect in order to create more fulfilling lives. Learn more at http://jarcfl.org.
Melissa Perlman, BlueIvy Communications