Lack of employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities is #Solvable | Susanne Bruyère

Lack of employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities is #Solvable | Susanne Bruyère


– A significant problem in the world today is the inequitable access to
an employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Less than half are given
an opportunity to work. But I’m very certain this
is a solvable problem if we work together on it. I’m Susanne Bruyère, and I’m the director of Yang-Tan Institute on
Employment and Disability and a professor of disability
studies at Cornell University. (bright music) Approximately 15 to 20%
of the world’s population are people with disabilities, and that’s over one billion people. One in four American
households has a person with a disability in it. Many individuals are not getting equitable access to education. Even when people do graduate from college, they are less likely to get employment, and that’s a lot of lost talent. There are known ways that
we can address this problem. One is engaging business in this process. If businesses help us with
training and internships, it will move us far into the future. We’ve seen for the past four or five years tech giants like Microsoft,
SAP, and DXC Technology create affirmative hiring programs for individuals with autism, reaching into schools, identifying talent, bringing them into the workplace and supporting them once they’re
in that work environment. A lot of what’s driving the new interest is a recognition that populations
we previously overlooked may have skills and abilities
that are actually assets and not liabilities in the workplace. For example, with autism, the ability to often focus more intently, see patterns that become useful in
things like cybersecurity or coding or computer debugging. The industry has become
aware of these kinds of characteristics,
affirmatively recruited, and it’s leading to stunning success of long-term employment
and hiring opportunities for this population. I think the time could not be any better for having this conversation. There is a need for
talent all over the world, and there’s an awareness that
this is a source of talent that isn’t being utilized. Imagine a world where we
all can bring our talents to full execution in the workplace and in our civil societies with equity, including people with disabilities. (bright music)

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