October 29, 2009, 10 am Pacific, 11 am Mountain, Noon Central, 1 pm EST, Zurich and Istanbul 1900 (7 pm)
The Business Case for
Workers with Disabilities
It's Not About "Hiring the Handicapped" Anymore
Modern Disability is about business. It's not about charity. It's not about making sacrifices. Modern Disability is about a dramatic, new truth. It's an amazing story: people with disabilities have been at the center of dramatic, historic changes that have removed artificial obstacles and expanded possibilities. For a wide range of reasons, they are more able than ever before!
That means business. That means a pool of talent that is poorly understood, if at all. That means people who are your customers with real and growing disposable incomes.
Here are some key points about the Business Case for workers with disabilities:
Gary Karp is an internationally recognized public speaker, corporate trainer, facilitator, author, and editor. He has been living — fully — with a T12 spinal cord injury since 1973 when he was injured in a fall from a tree at the age of eighteen. For his unique and extensive contributions to disability awareness, in 2007 Gary was inducted into the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame as a disability educator. Since his injury, Gary has earned a graduate degree in architecture, worked for eleven years in the presentation graphics industry as a designer and production manager, then began providing ergonomics training and consultation services to companies in the San Francisco Bay Area.
He is the author of four books:
His mantra, " This is not about 'hiring the handicapped' anymore."
Studying training and training development at San Francisco State University, Gary has extended his skills beyond his unique talents as a speaker to develop as a facilitator and interactive workshop leader. Gary helps organizations find and keep the best people, fostering a creative spirit of problem solving and adaptivity throughout the workplace. Gary is also a musician and juggler. He lives in San Rafael, CA with his wife Paula and their two Labrador retrievers.
This is Dr. Sally Gelardin with Careerwell Tele-Interviews. I'd like to introduce Gary Karp, an internationally recognized public speaker, corporate trainer, facilitator, author, and editor. He has been living — fully — with a T12 spinal cord injury since 1973 when he was injured in a fall from a tree at the age of eighteen. He is author of four books and was inducted into the Spinal Cord Injury Hall of Fame as a disability educator. Gary earned a graduate degree in archictecture and is also a musician and juggler. Welcome Gary.
Before we begin, I'd like to remind listeners that if you have a question or want to make a comment, press 5* on your phone and I shall call on you at an appropriate time in the conversation. Please fill out the evaluation that is linked to your call-in instructions. Now, my first question to you, Gary, is...
1. How would you define disability? Who is disabled? What percent of population? Speaking of definitions, you have told me in the past that you do not like the term "caregiver" of people with disabilities. Please explain.
2. You say, "People with disabilities have been at the center of dramatic, historic changes that have removed artificial obstacles and expanded possibilities. For a wide range of reasons, they are more able than ever before!" Could you explain that assertion? Could you educate us briefly on the three major laws that affect individuals with disabilities who are looking for work?
3. How does Section 504 of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, the "No Pity" Act, affects employability? With the passage of the ADA in 1990, accessibility became a requirement in the private sector as well, unless "undue hardship" could be proven. Although ADA does not guarantee you a job, how can it support your employment? What does the third law, IDEA, that was passed in the 1970s address?
4. In your book, Life on Wheels, you mention the need to study all possible options for diet, exercise, and medical strategies that could extend your capacity to put in a full day on the job. From researching diet, exercise, and medical strategies, what have you found works for you?
5. When I emailed you a week ago Monday, you said you were flying to Washinton, D.C. on Tuesday and would be back by Wednesday so you could speak at a breakfast meeting Thursday morning. How do you maintain equilibrium and health with this travel schedule?
6. What role does technology have in removing obstacles for people with disabilities?
7. What about young people with disabilities? How can they be supported in the schools and at home to explore the range of careers available to them?
8. You say there is a business case for working with people with disabilities. What advantages do they have in the workplace?
9. After you had your spinal cord injury, you earned a degree in architecture. How did you have the drive to earn that degree (not one of the easiest!). Did you have any mentors that influenced you along the way?
10. How did you get into juggling and playing the guitar? How have these skills impacted your work/personal life? Relationship with others?
11. What advice would you give to young people with disabilities related to the world of work? What about older people who are born with or who develop disabilities? What advice would you give them for navigating through the employment scene?
12. In conclusion, what are key points about the Business Case for workers with disabilities?
Thank you Gary, for your eye-opening interview. We have two spectacular speakers next month: Lee Richmond on November 12 and Martin Yate on November 19, two weeks in a row because of Thanksgiving. Lee will speak about "Killer of the Spirit: Things that happen in one's work environment that deaden one" and how dispirited workers can be restored. Lee is a Professor of Education at Loyola University Maryland in the area of school counseling where she is also affiliate faculty in the pastoral counseling department. She has won numerous awards and served as President of the American Counseling Association and the National Career Development Association. On November 19 Martin Yate will talk about "Career Sustainability Is Critical to Survival when Change Is Constant." Marin is the author of Resumes That Knock 'em Dead and Cover Letters That Knock em Dead. He was the keynote speaker at the International Career Development Conference last year at this time.
Thank you Gary and thank you listeners. I would also like to thank the organizations that subscribe to the tele-interviews as a benefit to members in these challenging times. If your organization has an upcoming event that features Careerwell speakers, please let me know and I shall publicize your event. Next Saturday, November 7, you are welcome to attend the CCDA "Green Careers" conference at Stanford University featuring John Krumboltz and Carol McClelland, two Careerwell speakers. Information is posted at careerwell.org. Look forward to your participation next month and have a happy Halloween.