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Call for Full Inclusion of People with Disabilities
The National Council on Disability (NCD) released a report calling for policymakers at all levels of government to proactively address current shortages and examine how labor market changes are driving both current and future supply.
Americans with disabilities depend on the disability workforce infrastructure, which consists of health, education, and social services programs. The need for these services is expected to increase significantly in the coming decades as a result of several factors.
First, the elderly population of the United States is large and growing rapidly. Since disability rates increase with age, population aging will bring substantial increases in the number of people with disabilities and will have a significant impact on the nation's human service and support needs.
Second, improvements in child survival rates mean that more children are born today with birth defects and developmental disabilities than ever before, and many of them will require access to a host of human services and supports throughout their lives. At the same time, large numbers of baby boomers are reaching retirement age, which means that many fewer human service workers will be available. These trends threaten both the availability and quality of future services for people with disabilities.
NCD's research for this report has been aimed at better positioning the human resources sector for the future; for example, by providing data and information that organizations can use to understand the supply-demand gaps in the disability-related workforce and to make plans to fill those gaps.
The research has also aimed at building industry capability to influence the nature and content of training, as well as capability to manage a sustainable, skilled disability workforce in the future. Finally, in an effort to reflect a holistic view of a community's workforce expectations, the research has been aimed across all relevant segments of the disability workforce, not just at a select handful of human service occupations.
"Numerous forecasts based on diverse trends all point to a shortage of qualified workers to meet the needs of the disability population. People with disabilities occupy a strategic place in America's ability to compete”, said NCD Chairperson Linda Wetters.
The purpose of NCD, an independent federal agency, is to promote programs, practices, policies and procedures that ensure full inclusion of people with disabilities into all aspects of society.
REHACARE.de; Source: National Council on Disability
- More about the National Council on Disability at www.ncd.gov
( Source: REHACARE.de )