Hidden disabilities in the workplace

When people think of disabilities, they tend to think of physical disabilities. Having impaired vision, missing limbs, or the like are immediately recognizable, and it’s known that people need help to live with them.

In recent years, however, “hidden” disabilities have become a hot topic. These are referred to as such because they are usually biological or mental in nature, which usually makes them less obvious. People with conditions like epilepsy, autism, or post-traumatic stress disorder often have “unusual” traits or behaviors that are not apparent at first. In addition, since many of these disabilities were not truly discussed until recently, there are relatively few people who know about them.

For people who know that they have hidden disabilities, there are two options: reveal them and risk getting belittled or stigmatized, or keep them a secret and risk getting judged for their behavior.

Naturally, one area where hidden disabilities can come into play is the workplace. Here, the distinction becomes even more important. Reporting a disability can sometimes be the difference between getting accommodations and being punished (or worse, fired) for actions caused by a disability.

But as already mentioned, there is a great risk of misunderstanding, so it is reasonable that people might want to keep their disabilities to themselves. For example, someone with ADD may be used to being ridiculed for not focusing, and someone with a mood disorder may be used to always looking bored. On top of this, people with hidden disabilities have largely gotten used to not mentioning them on résumés, as this often results in rejection.

In the end, one could argue that “hidden” disabilities aren’t truly invisible, so much as they are difficult to understand. As already mentioned, they didn’t truly enter popular discussion until recently, and many of them have a history of being dismissed as personal failings or issues that render someone completely unfit. The most that can be done at this point is getting the word out about these disabilities.

New Program Helps NYC Immigrants Attain the “American Dream”

Many immigrants make the decision to come to the United States for access to the better opportunities available here. Yet, too often these immigrants end up settling for jobs in which they are overqualified for because their foreign degrees are not recognized in the U’S. It is unfortunate that so many immigrants either go underemployed, or even unemployed, when they could be helping to enrich our economy by practicing their different specialties.

The New York City Economic Development Corporation recognized this problem and has taken the initiative to pilot the Immigrant Bridge Program. This program is the first of it’s kind in the U.S., helping connect highly skilled immigrants to jobs in their field of work.

To read the full article about the Immigrant Bridge Program click here.

Obviously, this program will not revive the economy or be the solution to all immigrants’ problems, but it can be a step in the right direction. Perhaps it will help American’s who are against immigration reform realize how beneficial immigrants can be to our country.

Post 9/11 Veterans Show Boost in Employment Numbers

One in four Iraq and Afghanistan veterans now have government jobs, according to a new Labor Department report that found an improved employment picture for the 9/11 generation of veterans.

Among the 2.7 million veterans who served on active duty in the United States Armed Forces at any time since Sept 11, 2001, a group referred to as Gulf War-era II veterans,  the unemployment rate hit 9.9 percent in 2012, a decline of 2.2 percent in 2011.

The jobless rate for all veterans is 7 percent. Twenty-eight percent of Gulf-war era II veterans reported having a service-connected disability in August 2012, compared with 14 percent of all veterans.

Most of that progress appeared to be among men where it is at 6.9 percent. The jobless rate for female post-9/11 veterans was 8.5 percent in 2012, about the same as the previous year, said the veterans employment summary released Wednesday by the Labor Department’s Bureau of Labor Statistics.

Post 9/11 veterans, especially younger ones, have a higher unemployment rate than non-veterans of the same age.  While most of the focus has been on veterans aged 18 to 24, whose jobless rate has been greater than 20 percent,  the report said veterans males  aged 25 to 34, in the Gulf War-era II, also have a higher unemployment rate than non-veterans in the same age range.

Government work, at the federal, state and local level, account for employment of 25 percent of post 9/11 veterans, compared with 14 percent of non-veterans. This is slightly higher than for veterans of all generations, who hold about 20 percent of public-sector jobs.

Sept 11, were a series of four coordinated terrorist attacks launched by the terrorist group al-Qaeda upon the United States in New York City and Washington D.C.