Employment fair for people with disabilities

Host: Welcome to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of Western New York Independent Living (WNYIL). Our guest today is Ashley Dunham, independent living specialist with Independent Living of the Genesee Region (ILGR). I'm your host Ernie Churchwell. Welcome to the program, Ashley. 


Guest: Hi Ernie. 


Host: And you're here because you're coordinating a big event that's coming up for people with disabilities in the Genesee County region, although it's open to people beyond it. Namely, an employment fair for people with disabilities. To give people a little foundation, how does the unemployment rate for people with disabilities compare with the general population? 


Guest: Well, according to the US Department of Labor, 7.8% of people with a disability are unemployed as compared to the able-bodied population at 3.5%. This statistic focuses mainly on ages 16 to 64. 


Host: Oh, that unemployment rate that's double the general population. And so, it sounds like having an event focused on the needs of individuals with disabilities is definitely called for. I gather that ILGR is having a few partners, but rather than go through a long list, you can at least mention a couple of them I believe. 


Guest: Yes. So, we are co-hosting with various agencies within Genesee County, one of them being the Genesee County Office for the Aging which is where the event will be held. The Genesee County Mental Health Department, the Genesee County Career Center, Genesee Ace Employment plus various other agencies. 


Host: Well, that sounds like a pretty decent representation. I gather that you're still lining up employers to participate in the event. Could you give us the particulars of the where and when? 


Guest: Yes. So, this event will be held on November 8th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. at the Genesee County Office for the Aging and they are located at 2 Bank St. in Batavia. 


Host: Alrighty. And so, I guess 3 hours should give attendees a chance to chat with a few potential employers. Anyway, I believe that the pre-publicity gives a few tips for those who will attend. And I gather a RSVP with you is called for, correct? 


Guest: That is yes, that is correct. So, the schedule is going to run from 1:00 to 4:00 with the first half being a learning time. We will have instructions on civil service testing and how to access them. Job searching skills, mock interviewing and instruction on reasonable accommodations. We'll take a short break and then we'll go into meeting the employers from 2:30 to 4:00. It is best if you prepare your resume ahead of time, dress professionally, and bring your true self to impress potential employers. There is a possibility of coverage for childcare cost and transportation. We just ask that you reach out to Independent Living for any accommodations that you may need, and you can reach myself at 585-815-8501, ext. 414 and I can also be reached by email at adunham@wnyil.org, we just want to remind people that space is limited, so pre-registration is required. 


Host: And in case people didn't have a pencil handy the first time you brought it up, if you could remind people again of the date, time and place of the employment fair. 


Guest: Yes. So, it will be held on November 8th from 1:00 to 4:00 p.m. The location is the Genesee County Office for the Aging, located at 2 Bank St., Batavia, NY 14020. 


Host: It sounds like from what you said, this is an event sorely needed by the population of people with disabilities, and we're excited that ILGR is playing a pivotal role in this event. Thank you so much for being with us. 


Guest: Thank you, Ernie. 


Host: You've been listening to Independent Perspective, a public affairs presentation of WNYIL. Our guest today has been Ashley Dunham, independent living specialist at ILGR, and I've been your host, Ernie Churchwell.