Madden, Sweeney Laws to Set up Job Forces to Promote Employment of Individuals with Disabilities Clears the Senate

Madden, Sweeney Legislation setting up task forces to promote employment for people with disabilities clears the Senate

Trenton – To ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workforce, the Senate today passed legislation, sponsored by Senator Fred Madden and Senate President Steve Sweeney, to encourage the employment of people with disabilities through the use of task forces.

The S-1937 bill seeks to establish a task force to examine the problem of unemployment and underemployment of people with disabilities in the state and to make recommendations to the governor and legislature to review the programs available within the state and local governments .

“Approximately 25 percent of adults in New Jersey have some sort of disability and, like everyone else, have the right to participate as an independent member of society, and that includes having a job,” said Senator Madden (D-Camden / Gloucester). “However, there is a clear discrepancy in how few of these adults are employed, as many employers are not included. This task force will be able to investigate this underemployment and ensure these individuals have equal opportunities to serve in government and promote a more inclusive environment at all levels of government across the state. “

Resolution SJR-17 seeks to establish the Task Force “People with Disabilities and Elderly Transportation Services” to examine and make recommendations on ways to improve transportation services for the elderly and people with disabilities.

“Both seniors and people with disabilities have had problems using public transport independently for far too long,” said Senator Sweeney (D-Gloucester / Salem / Cumberland). “Often times, the infrastructure is simply inaccessible to them, making it sometimes impossible to complete a simple task. By solving the major issues that currently exist, this task force can proactively work towards meaningful solutions that enable better representation of older people and communities with special needs. “

In the context of the resolution, the task force would have to consider certain issues, including but not limited to traffic barriers for the elderly and people with disabilities, improving accessible infrastructure and technology, and efficient communication of delays and cancellations for public transport.

“We need to change the low societal expectations of people with intellectual and developmental disabilities that lead to discrimination in the workplace, and replace them with the belief that everyone deserves the opportunity and tools and support for work. To do this, government needs to lead the way, be a good employer and demonstrate the multitude of benefits of employing people with disabilities, ”said Tom Baffuto, Executive Director of the Arc of New Jersey. “We thank Senate President Sweeney and Senator Madden for exploring ways to improve employment prospects for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities and to ensure that everyone has the opportunity to participate in integrated employment and community life.”

Senator Madden and Senator Sweeney recently joined forces with others to create the New Jersey Legislative Disability Caucus to serve as a non-partisan forum to promote inclusion in public policy-making by raising awareness of the complexities of the disability system and the issues that People with disabilities and their effects affect families.

The bill was dismissed from the Senate 35-0 and the resolution was approved 35-0.

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