Hiring People with Disabilities

The Governor's Council plays a key role is supporting the employer and disability community.  

We believe that Alaskans with disabilities should have equal opportunities in jobs, school or learning, transportation, owning a home, staying healthy, and participating in their communities.  For this to happen requires Alaskans with disabilities to work and in doing so, they obtain and maintain their independence.

For additional information and or just a “voice” to talk to about your employment needs, please contact one of us at the Governor’s Council on Disabilities & Special Education:

Contact: Patrick Reinhart

You may also wish to contact the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation. They help Alaskans with disabilities acquire and keep a meaningful job.

We are willing to assist you in filling job vacancies with “Job-Ready” Alaskans with disabilities and we are familiar with resources to make that happen.  If you should have an employee who has a disability and/or has recently developed a disability, we may be able to assist you in directing you to the right resources.

We thank you for your interest and support to make this happen.

According to the 2004 Harris Poll:

  • Just over one-third of people ages 18-64 with disabilities are employed compared to more than three-quarters of those without disabilities.
  • Of those familiar with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), almost 1 in 3 feel it has made their lives better.

According to the US DOL’s 2008 WIRED report:

  • Between 2002 and 2012, the numbers of workers 55 years and older is projected to grow by 50%. As people age they tend to have one or more disabilities. Approximately 30% of the population over 55 has a disability.
  • Regional economies cannot continue to be economically viable and remain competitive in the global marketplace if they do not tap into their largely untapped, available workforce, including people with disabilities to develop pipeline hires for businesses to address the shortage of workers.

According to the 2007 Rudstam Center:

  • Two high growth labor market sectors will emerge over the next decade to account for at least 60% of new jobs created.
    • Professional and related occupations (particularly health-related & business/finance services)
    • Service Occupations (particularly hospitality/leisure industry and retail)
  • The number of working age adults who at any give time have a mental health disability is 39 million. (Most commonly diagnosed are depression, substance abuse disorder and anxiety disorder.)
  • It will likely become harder in the next decade for employers to find the talent & skills they need.
    • Increased job switching
    • Decreased employer loyalty
    • Boomers retiring--there will not be enough workers to replace them. (About 30% of our labor force is boomers)
  • It will nearly always cost a lot more to lose an employee than to accommodate them!!!
  • Reasonable accommodation isn’t just about the law and isn’t just a “nice to do.” It’s a key part of a turnover prevention strategy.