May 2013 - New Perspectives
We've just issued our latest issue of our newsletter, "Abilities" focusing on a very timely topic - the correlation between mental illness and violence. Unfortunately we don’t have to wrack our brains very hard to recall scenarios of mass shootings or workplace violence in America. The horror of these occurrences is all too real, as is the predictability of casting blame on mental illness. When bad things happen that we can’t make sense of, that trigger panic or fear, we want to find an easy explanation and place the blame on some “other” group. In the process misplaced assumptions and ill-advised generalizations can lead to the dissemination of a great deal of misinformation and the unfortunate – and just plain wrong – demonization and stigmatization of an entire community of individuals grappling with a vast array of mental illnesses.
With this issue of Abilities we wish to offer a different and more accurate perspective. Mental illness in all of its varied and numerous forms is far more prevalent within and all around us than many realize, with most individuals with some form of mental illness diagnosis nonetheless moving along with their lives. Others may need more community and peer supports. Most are capable of productive and successful employment, and all are hurt by a lack of understanding predicated on media-generated fear. We hope our content will expand your awareness and bring renewed perspective.
Check out our latest video showcasing Vermonters at work! This very short video celebrates the contributions – and promotes the employment – of Vermonters of all abilities. http://youtu.be/yBxOy9daOuQ
For another perspective on the employment of Vermonters with disabilities, we encourage you to read this article.
Check out this great and inspiring article from Seven Days
about Ben Chater, a man of conviction!
What can YOU do to support the employment of Vermonters with Disabilities?? The following is a list of options to consider. We also invite you to go to our section of "Educational Materials" here on our website for additional helpful resources.
- Take advantage of the menu of progressive employment options offered by the Creative Workforce Solutions group in your area; (Your local CWS representative can be found here: http://www.cwsvt.com/about-us/contact-us.html)
- Utilize the services of one of the many noteworthy organizations in your area that work directly with individuals with disabilities and consider their candidates for employment;
- Learn best practices from other employers that employ a diverse workforce – such as our 2012 award winners;
- Showcase your disability and diversity hiring practices in your annual report;
- Take advantage of the resources of the national Job Accommodation Network (www.askjan.org);
- Explore some of these other resources offered by the Campaign for Disability Employment: www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org/blog/index.php/employer-resources
- Host a GCEPD-led panel of experts discussing workplace accommodations;
- Patronize one of the many Vermont employers that have won a Governor’s Award for their disability employment practices (See http://www.hireus.org/Governorsawards)
If you are interested in learning more about what YOU can do, what WE can do for you, or in becoming a member of the GCEPD, please contact GCEPD Executive Coordinator Melita DeBellis at firstname.lastname@example.org or call 802-434-6600.
April Tuck, Chair of the GCEPD