October is Disability Employment Awareness Month

Just more than 10 percent of North Dakota's population has a disability. And when it comes to applying for jobs, many times, their disabilities can create new obstacles. KX News Reporter Malique Rankin shows us one program that's looking to work through those hurdles.

For people with disabilities, often times, the difficulties of getting a job start before they even apply.

Jessica Thompson; Plaza Drug Employee: "I think a big one is that they won't be capable and that's not the truth."

Jessica Thompson has multiple sclerosis and lupus.
She says it's because of the Dakota Center for Independent Living that she has this job.

Royce Schultze; Executive Director of Dakota Independent Living Center: "Well we will help them with writing a professional resume... We'll also help them with the interviewing skills."

Over half of the center's staff has a disability, making them more able to relate to the people they work with.

Royce Schultze; Executive Director of Dakota Independent Living Center: "As a person with a disability myself, that was a big fear of mine, was going out and working and not knowing if I could or not. That's one of the things we try to help with the individuals is give them that confidence to go out and improve their lives."

Jessica Thompson; Plaza Drug Employee: "It's amazing how it changes how you're feeling about yourself."  

And for Schultze, a quadriplegic, he says seeing his work make a difference brings it all full circle.

Royce Schultze; Executive Director of Dakota Independent Living Center: "Oh, that's just the best feeling there is. Just to be able to give back."

Whether it's offering a support system, or bridging the gap to a new job--

Jessica Thompson; Plaza Drug Employee: "It is so wonderful! It is! When I told my kids that I was working here, they all were like, 'Oh mom! That's the perfect job for you!'"

-- it's opening the door for those with disabilities.

October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month-- a national campaign that raises awareness about disability employment issues and celebrates the many contributions of America's workers with disabilities. The theme for this year is "Inclusion Drives Innovation."
 


Don't Miss

Trending Stories

Latest News

Video Center