SourceAmerica CEO hits the airwaves to talk COVID-19, professionals with disabilities, and essential work
The COVID-19 pandemic is bringing employment issues to the forefront of a national conversation, especially for the disability community.
Below are highlights from some recent interviews SourceAmerica President and CEO Vince Loose conducted with radio outlets across the country. Loose took the opportunity to shine a light on how professionals with disabilities are contributing to our nation's COVID-19 response, the ways unemployment can disproportionately impact this segment of our population, and how new work-from-home solutions could lead to a more inclusive workforce.
Essential Workforce – People with disabilities are an important part of the workforce. During this time, they have provided essential services to many federal customers.
WTOP (Washington, D.C.)
"Just because someone presents himself differently does not mean that they are unable to do the job" so when it’s time to start hiring again, "you need to look at the skill sets, capabilities and expertise to match your job positions needs are and hire the best candidate for the job, not the person that looks the best." Read more here.
POTUS (SIRIUS-XM) National
"Many of these individuals often see themselves as helping the war fighter by working with the Department of Defense and now they're working to help the war fighters and their families as they live on bases and as the federal government serves all of our collective needs. In many respects, many people with disabilities are on the front lines."
Unemployment – Prior to COVID-19, the unemployment rate of people with disabilities in the U.S. was at 70%. Now and in the future, it will be critical to create employment opportunities for this community.
WSB (Atlanta, Georgia)
"People with disabilities sometimes are challenged a little more as the unemployment rate goes up and that’s certainly the case now."
WBBM (Chicago, Illinois)
"Unemployment in general was getting lower and that also drew along the opportunities for people with different abilities to be found in the workforce and have the skillsets and capabilities that individuals and employers didn’t realize they had."
New York News Connection (New York)
"They're hired last and fired first," he said, "so we really have some concern about what's going to happen as we come back to work and what their employment opportunities will be going forward. Read the full interview.
KCBS (San Francisco, California)
"The beauty of the program that we have and the work that we represent for roughly 40,000 people is with the federal government. That group of people is part of the essential workforce for the federal government so their contracts and the work that they do need to continue. And SourceAmerica and their employers of the 750 nonprofit organizations around the country are keeping these people employed and engaged so the ones that we have a direct impact with are in good shape."
KIRO (Seattle, Washington)
"Unfortunately, we expect the COVID-19 event to cause that [the unemployment rate for those with disabilities] to creep back up again."
KABQ – (Albuquerque, New Mexico), WMT-AM – (Cedar Rapids, Idaho), WHK – (Cleveland, Ohio), WTVN – (Columbus, Ohio), KRDO – (Colorado Springs, Colorado), WHTC – (Grand Rapids, Michigan), WIOD – (Miami, Florida), KSTE – (Sacramento, California), WOAI-AM – (San Antonio, Texas)
"People with disabilities sometimes are challenged a little bit more as the unemployment rate goes up, that's certainly the case now where more and more people lose jobs and people with disabilities are finding themselves unemployed probably at a higher percentage than other people in the country."
Work from Home – While there's challenges to overcome, working from home has cast a spotlight on how employers can expand diversity and inclusion through work from home options for professionals with disabilities.
KFI (Los Angeles, California)
"In the past, telework was not considered as an appealing option as in office work and telework is a good example for people with disabilities to be employed since many of them struggle with transportation."
KIIS-FM (Los Angeles, California)
"In the past telework was not considered as an appealing option as in office work and telework is a good example for people with disabilities to be employed because many of them struggle with transportation."
KRLA-AM (Los Angeles, California)
"Lots of us are doing telework and companies are utilizing telework in ways that they didn’t think was possible. Telework is a good opportunity for a person with a disability to be employed."
KABC – (Los Angeles, California), KFBK – (Sacramento, California), KOGO – (San Diego, California), KSRO – (Santa Rosa, California)
"Lots of us are doing telework, and companies are using telework in ways they didn’t think was possible. Telework is a good opportunity for a person with a disability to be employed." Read more here.
See more stories about how COVID-19 is impacting people with disabilities.