Employment and Disability

According to the International Labor Organization, an estimated 386 million of the global working-age population live with disability, and unemployment is up to 80 percent for this group in some countries. For persons with disabilities and for workers who become disabled on the job, access to employment is often hindered by discriminatory practices and attitudes. Many individuals with disability are further burdened with an interrelated set of disadvantages involving education, health and economic class.

While technology provides access to accommodations, it also opens new risks, sometimes making matters worse for prospective employees with disability in need of high-tech training or related services. In the face of so many challenges, how can strides be made to ensure that people with physical, cognitive and mental impairment find the fulfillment and dignity that comes from contributing to society through suitable employment?

Through a range of workshops, roundtable discussions, and presentations, this topic area aims to sharpen skills and spur ideas for bringing down those persistent barriers that separate people with disabilities from adequate work employment opportunity.  Take-home tools include the latest information on Section 508 Compliance, Disability Employment Initiative Grants, workforce accommodations and vocational rehabilitation.  There is also plenty of inspiration to be had from the likes of a New Zealand-based vocational provider’s transformational research intended to help disabled people contest marginalization in the workplace.  Rounding out the plethora of presentations is an opportunity to discover the latest in low-tech tools that support the success of people with disabilities throughout the employment process.  Come and explore how inclusivity in the job market steadies the soul and enhances the modern workplace with a nod to our shared humanity. 


For more information please contact the Employment topic co-chairs, William Mihalke at mihalke@hawaii.edu, or Chin Lee at chinlee@hawaii.edu. For general information on the conference, please contact Charmaine Crockett at cccrocke@hawaii.edu, (808) 956-7539. For registration questions please contact the Registration Desk at prreg@hawaii.edu, Phone: (808) 956-8816, Fax: (808) 956-4437.