I felt compelled to respond to the Feb. 18 article, “Intellectually disabled still face job, pay bias.” As a masters of social work student who places a high premium on social justice, it is truly sad to read of the extreme disparities individuals with disabilities face in the job market.
However, in Washington, we have a system that emphasizes employment and inclusion for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Though there is much work to be done, individuals with disabilities have access to support needed to access a job. There are also multiple agencies and businesses helping to include individuals with disabilities in the workforce and community.
Talk with business owners who employ individuals with disabilities, and you will hear that employing workers with disabilities is not a charity act. They contribute greatly to the bottom line and the positive culture of the place of business. I would encourage you to support businesses employing individuals with disabilities and support the federal and state policies that push for greater inclusion of people with disabilities in the community.