Welcome to The Arc of Laramie County
The Arc of Laramie County is committed to carrying out the mission of protecting and promoting the rights of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) and their families through innovative programs. Our initiatives touch almost every aspect of life in the community. By sharing knowledge and conducting training’s and events, our programs help connect communities and inform efforts to broaden inclusion in Laramie County and across the country.
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Each October, The Arc joins the national disability community and public and private sector employers in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The campaign sheds light on critical issues in disability employment and promotes best practices in hiring employees with disabilities and creating inclusive workplaces.
This year’s theme “The Right Talent, Right Now” recognizes the contributions of people with disabilities to the workforce, and challenges employers looking to hire leading creative minds and top-tier talent to consider the disability community, one of the largest and least utilized labor markets. According to the US Department of Labor, the national unemployment rate for people with disabilities is roughly twice that of people without disabilities (7.2% vs. 3.6%), a gap which has remained static for years. Paradoxically, research shows hiring people with disabilities can significantly bolster productivity, boost creative thinking and problem-solving, and positively impact the bottom line.
In order to narrow this gap, The [email protected] — The Arc’s national employment program — partners with employers nationwide to create meaningful and inclusive employment opportunities for people with disabilities. To date, they have placed over 1,000 individuals in gainful and competitive jobs in the community. The [email protected] leads trainings and corporate education events to promote greater understanding of disability issues, enhance workplace inclusion and accessibility, and to share the positive outcomes of hiring people of different abilities.
“The most important element to an employer’s success at hiring people with disabilities is understanding the value and significance to their workforce,” said Jonathan Lucus, Senior Director of Workforce Initiatives at The Arc. “We work with our clients to look at the whole picture and realize that hiring jobseekers with disabilities isn’t just the right thing to do, it is the smart thing to do. We are celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month by spreading this message far and wide so that jobseekers with disabilities in communities across the country can get a fair shot at meaningful employment.”
Building Community for All
For over 70 years, The Arc has been fighting for people with disabilities to live independently with the right supports and lead the same kind of life as everyone else. People with disabilities and their families want access to a life in the community, no matter the level of supports necessary to make that happen. But when they try to find what they need, too often the system fails them.
Everyone benefits when people with disabilities are a part of the fabric of our communities, not locked away in the archaic institutions that still exist in 36 states. Institutions are large, often crowded places that limit people and their choices and force them to live segregated lives away from their family and friends without access to the supports needed to live in their own homes and communities. Yet this country has treated access to the services that help people with disabilities gain independence as an option, not a right. This is even more urgent during the pandemic, as crowded institutions and nursing homes have put people at much greater risk of contracting COVID-19.
The Arc of Laramie County!