The number of employers who are actively recruiting and accommodating employees with disabilities has increased over the past decade, a UMass Medical School disability employment advocate told the Boston Herald.
“There is definitely a way to go … there are still many fears and stereotypes,” Kathleen A. Petkauskos, director of UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits, said in the Oct. 26 Boston Herald article about opportunities for workers with disabilities. “A lot of businesses are saying, ‘Hey this works for us.’ ”
Nationwide, 17.5 percent of people with disabilities were employed, according to statistics released this summer by the U.S. Department of Labor. Individuals without disabilities were employed at a rate of 65 percent. In Massachusetts, those with disabilities fare slightly better, with the rate of employment nearly 34 percent.
Petkauskos explained that many businesses in Massachusetts have realized that hiring employees with disabilities is a good business decision. Many of those businesses are members of the Work Without Limits business network, including John Hancock, Raytheon, Eastern Bank, State Street, and Harvard Pilgrim Health Care.
Work Without Limits is a statewide network of employers and partners established in 2008 to increase employment among individuals with disabilities. The program hosted its latest career fair and conference Oct.25-26, and manages a fully accessible job board, Jobs Without Limits.
The Northeast Human Resources Association in February named Work Without Limits the 2016 Frank X. McCarthy Organizational Diversity Champion.