On March 15th, the EEOC held a hearing on the employment of individuals with mental disabilities. During the meeting, experts in the field and people with intellectual and psychiatric disabilities testified before the Commission. According to the witnesses at the hearing, the employment rate for individuals with intellectual, mental and psychiatric disabilities is about half the employment rate of people with other types of disabilities, even though the desire of these individuals to work is overwhelming.
These witnesses testified that the barriers to employment for these individuals include attitudinal barriers, fear of losing benefits, low expectations of service system professionals and inadequate supports. They pointed out that most of the barriers have little to do with individuals’ disabilities themselves, that overcoming these barriers is largely a matter of commitment and flexibility and that accommodating individuals with disabilities often results in improvements for all employees.
One of the most common stereotypes of people with psychiatric disabilities is that many of them are violent – something that is not true, according to psychologist Dr. Gary R. Bond of the Dartmouth Psychiatric Research Center of Dartmouth Medical School. In fact, being employed significantly reduces the possibility of violence.
So… The moral to the story? People with mental disabilities, no matter what country they reside, can work, and want to work, just like everyone else. Just another opportunity for employers in the U.S. and around the world.
This information should not be construed as "legal advice" for a particular set of facts or circumstances. It is intended only to be a practical guide for participants familiar with this subject. Users should seek appropriate legal advice tailored to address their specific situation.