Contrary to popular perceptions, people with disabilities are equipped with unique skills and creative capacity, giving them a powerful role to play in the world economy, whether as restauranteurs, goldsmiths, warehouse workers, marine biologists, car washers, or Costco employees.
Unfortunately, those gifts are not always recognized by the marketplace. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, the unemployment rate for those with disabilities is more than double the average for those without.
Thankfully, that blind spot is slowly being revealed, whether by forward-thinking entrepreneurs and executives or in the case of Vanderbilt’s Kennedy Center, university researchers and church congregations.
Thanks to a significant grant from the Kessler Foundation, researchers at the Kennedy Center are working with local churches to find new ways to provide work for young people with disabilities: (more…)