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October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Arizona is ahead of the country in employing people with disabilities
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Posted at 10:30 PM, Oct 21, 2019
and last updated 2019-10-22 08:53:46-04

TUCSON, Ariz. — Arizona is ahead of the country in employing the people with disabilities.

The U.S. Department of Labor reports, nationally, one in five people with disabilities are employed, compare that to Arizona where one in three people with disabilities are employed.

Advocates will tell you, it isn't enough.

"Working age people with disabilities, only 33-percent of them are employed. that compares to working age people without disabilities where 72-percent are employed, so there's a very wide gap," said Greg Natvig of the Beacon Group, which matches people with disabilities, in Tucson, with potential employers.

"They have to have employers who are willing to take them on."

Willing, Natvig says, despite some challenges they might have.

"There's often times issues with transportation and other things that prevent them from finding employment."

For people with disabilities, it may present odds they have to defy, nothing that can't be done says Jessica Cox, she's a pilot, who flies planes, without the use of arms.

"Unfortunately there are these incorrect assumptions that are made about people with disabilities but they can truly help any workplace," Cox said.

She is using the occasion, National Disability Employment Awareness Month, to spread the word to businesses: recruit people with disabilities.

"Re-evaluate their process for accepting new employees," Cox said.

"Unfortunately some companies have overlooked that there are ways in which they may be weeding out people with disabilities, unintentionally."

The Beacon group helps people living with disabilities find employment all year round.