People with disabilities have worked diligently at acquiring the skills to hold competitive, integrated employment. This in turn creates opportunities to be valued members of their community/society as tax payers, home owners, etc. The true stumbling block is now the employers. They don’t realize the benefits to hiring disabled employees. It is time to flip that script and educate potential employers of the benefits to hiring those experiencing disability.
Mike Chittenden is a 30-year veteran in the field of supporting people experiencing Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (I/DD). He has worked throughout the country managing community-based programs, both residentially and in supported employment. Now, as the Executive Director of The Arc of Nebraska, he advocates at the State Capitol and around the state on behalf of those experiencing I/DD and their families.