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State debuts video to support employing people with disabilities

Photo courtesy: DHSS video

When Gov. Jack Markell chaired the National Governors Association he led the effort to increase job opportunities for individuals with disabilities.

In 2012, Markell signed legislation making hiring workers with disabilities the first option by law at Delaware agencies that provide services to people with disabilities.

Today, the Department of Health and Social Services debuted the “Delaware Pathways to Employment” video featuring five Delawareans with disabilities who are employed, own their own business, or have an employment goal when they are old enough to work.

DHSS Secretary Rita Landgraf says one the objectives is to educate business owners.

“We’ve talked to large employers such as Walgreens, even to the smaller employers that are mom and pop shops and there are places where employment is available for individuals with differing abilities,” she says.

In his 2015 State of the State address, Governor Jack Markell laid out plans to continue this effort.

“Individuals with disabilities have the highest unemployment and underemployment rate of any minority population,” notes Landgraf. “Individuals with disabilities also face a higher level of poverty and individuals with disabilities are indeed an undertapped resource.”   

The 8½-minute video will be used to advance employment opportunities among individuals with disabilities, their families and prospective employers.