Article On Telecommuting

In Everyone has one, Opinion by Barney Mayse

Roving Rose’s April article Telecommuting.

Good and timely article! I will however, remain skeptical that the $20 million initiative will have any significant impact on unemployment for people with disabilities. With all of the government bureaucracy and many agencies working for people with disabilities the needle has not moved in 12 years. What is wrong with this picture?

I believe that a broader dialogue needs to transpire between the disabled community (which by the way can be joined by anyone at anytime) and the employer community. The employer community talks about diversity but workplaces do not illustrate “walking the talk”.

When employers understand that people with disabilities bring talent, resourcefulness, creative problem solving skills to the job, they may start to understand that the value truly lies with each person.

Lip service to that idea does not provide employment and employment starts the process of broader inclusion. Without a level employment hiring field, people with
disabilities particularly visible disabilities are at a distinct

While employers may not violate the letter of the law, the spirit of the law is not being kept. There is a clear undeniable lack of understanding on the part of the
employer community.

I know that there are some large companies who appear to “get it”. However, it needs to become something that is known and understood throughout the employer community.

Employers are not the enemy but because they do not understand. Their perceptions hold them back from embracing the idea that disabled workers can be assets.

Workers are either assets or liabilities. If I am not an asset I can fully expect to be released. But the idea that simply not having a disability makes a person more employable than another is a problem of perception.

The time has come to begin a hard core process of breaking down these barriers. If the roles were reversed I know that many folks who readily dismiss the disabled would argue this same line of thinking.

Perhaps a role play that demonstrates the reality of seeking employment with a disability would illustrate the point?

Barney Mayse
Disability Advocate
The Whole Person, Inc.