October was proclaimed Disability Employment Awareness Month by Governor Tim Walz! This month celebrates the skills and contributions of people with disabilities in the workforce and acknowledges the years of discrimination against people with disabilities in the workforce. In Governor Walz’s proclamation, he addresses the history of discrimination and calls attention to the role that employers have in ensuring there are opportunities for people with disabilities to work and have a career path.
Employment is defined as “an occupation by which a person erns a living; work; business.” People with disabilities have a right to opportunities for jobs that are fulfilling and provide a way to support themselves and their families. While in the workforce, people with disabilities should be able to have any supports and accommodations needed to be successful in their positions.
Looking for a job can be difficult! Minnesota has an employment portal to help connect job seekers with resources to help in the process of looking for a new job.
If you are looking to begin working, here are some worksheets from Disability Hub MN and The Arc Minnesota to help you get started in your planning!
- Planning for Work Profile
- Life Trajectory Planning
- Daily Life and Employment Guide
- Getting Ready for Interviews
- Finding Work
- Likes and Dislikes
- Employment Exploration
- Your Dream Job
One concern with employment is the minimum wage. In 2023, Minnesota is adjusting the minimum wage for inflation to better allow people an opportunity to provide for themselves.
Minnesota created the Taskforce on Subminimum Wage to help plan the phase out if subminimum wage ends. The Arc Minnesota believes the work of the Taskforce is crucial in helping ensure more people have access to jobs that build on their skills. That work must be strategic and thoughtful so that people in our community are not left behind. With the right plan and approach, we can ensure that people with disabilities who want to work can work, and that people have meaningful ways to spend their time.
You can read more about the Taskforce on Subminimum Wage on The Arc Minnesota blog!
As part of the Taskforce, The Olmstead Implementation Office hosted multiple Lunch and Learn events to discuss issues surrounding employment in the disability community. Watch the video below to learn from a panel discussion where Minnesotans with disabilities discuss their employment.