Disabilities Task Force
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Recommendations to New York State for strategies to increase access
5. Career Development and Full Employment Opportunity (continued)
The consequences of unemployment and underemployment of New Yorkers with disabilities are considerable, from both an individual and societal perspective. Income data collected by the New York State Education Department's Office of Vocational and Educational Services for Individuals with Disabilities clearly illustrate both the individual and the societal value of creating job and career opportunities for individuals with disabilities. The personal benefits are obvious. The private earnings, public savings and tax benefits run into the hundreds of millions of dollars.
Given the large number of individuals with disabilities who shy away from postsecondary education, there is an obvious opportunity now to recruit a whole new group of individuals into the skilled labor market. At the same time, there is a significant opportunity for educating today's employers to the value of individuals with disabilities as potential employees. In light of today's job market, that opportunity has only been enhanced. It should be the role of each postsecondary education institution to reach out - in partnership with students with disabilities themselves - to partner with employers in tapping the rich workforce resource represented by this population of New Yorkers.