The Seventy-Five Percent
Back in 1980 when we started Chinook Enterprises, unemployment for people with disabilities was approaching seventy-five percent. Since then, we have seen major changes in the way the world works. Our communication can be instantaneous, our files are “virtual”–– they exist in clouds and on drives, and we can snap photos and video with our cell phones. Our cars are safer; we have new medicines and all sorts of new techniques to do just about anything. What great progress!
But one thing has not made progress. And that is the rate of unemployment for disabled persons… which still remains at seventy-five percent. To be fair, many of the people counted in today’s totals wouldn’t have even been considered for employment in 1980. The technology has improved to the point that people with limited mobility can participate in data processing jobs using a microphone where they dictate the information and it is written directly to the page; people can have specialized expertise in one or two areas of an overall job that allows that position to be “split” so that they can be at their most productive.
Thankfully, our economy is improving and the outlook for employment in 2015 is solid for disabled and non-disabled persons alike. Each day we learn of new opportunities for the people we serve. The partnerships we have established make that possible!
In this 35th year of dedication to our goal of helping people with disabilities find gainful and meaningful employment, it is our hope that 2015 will be the year we dip below the seventy-five percent.