Friday, August 2, 2013 —
Raleigh - N.C. Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Aldona Wos reports that the department helped more than 5,600 North Carolinians with disabilities obtain or maintain employment during state fiscal year 2012-13. DHHS provides individuals with a job-readiness assessments, employment planning, and assistance with finding and keeping jobs.
"North Carolinians with disabilities are facing disproportionately high rates of unemployment compared to those without disabilities," said Wos.
"By giving these citizens the tools to equip them for the world of work, we are providing a path to independence and a sustainable lifestyle. That is a win for each of them and for our state."
Wos' announcement comes on the heels of the 23rd anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which President George H.W. Bush signed into law. The ADA provides civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities and guarantees equal opportunity in public accommodations such as stores and hospitals, employment, transportation, state and local government services and telecommunications.
DHHS supports individuals with physical, psychiatric or intellectual disabilities and individuals who are deaf or hard of hearing or have other communicative disorders. DHHS actively recruits employers to the program and, in many cases, provides supported employment services to assist individuals with on-the-job training and job coaching.
In addition to career support, the department's Independent Living Rehabilitation Program (ILRP) helped 1,800 North Carolinians with disabilities meet their goals for independent living in FY 2012-13. The ILRP plays a vital role in helping people live safely in their community of choice. Services include transitioning from a nursing home or assisted living facility to community living; home and vehicle modifications; purchase of medical equipment and assistive devices; personal assistance services and guidance and counseling.