Having a disability should not prevent you from the opportunity to earn gainful employment. In many cases, people with disabilities have much to offer an employer, in addition to the desire to add their strengths to a team.

Though discrimination in the workplace does happen, it is illegal according to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Employers must offer, and maintain, employment for people with disabilities, offering accommodation as necessary.

Reasonable accommodations may include, among other things:

  • Modified equipment
  • Workplace accessibility
  • Adjusted work schedules
  • American Sign Language (ASL) interpreters

If you have a disability and seek gainful employment in Kentucky, you are considered a protected class under the Kentucky Civil Rights Act. If you feel you have not received appropriate job offers or believe you are the victim of wrongful termination because of your disability, you may want to talk to an attorney.

The University of Kentucky is taking action

The Human Development Institute (HDI) at the University of Kentucky (UK) is working to implement the state’s Employment First Executive Order which serves to:

“ensure that competitive and integrated employment in the community shall be considered the first and primary option for persons with disabilities who want to become employed.”

With Kentucky, and the University’s HDI, taking strides toward inclusion, hopefully more people with disabilities, including veterans, will soon be impacting the work force with their abilities.

Statewide, there is an increasing focus on collaborative efforts in the workplace, rather than focusing on what sets individuals apart. As with any community, the individuals’ differences are what make a group stronger.