Even though the most recent numbers released by the U.S. Department of Labor show the unemployment rate for Americans with disabilities has risen slightly, it’s not like it seems at first glance. Actually, there was an increase of people hired last month, which would have led to lower unemployment except for the fact that even more people than that started actively looking for work, thus raising the rate. So, more people hired and more people looking for work. Good news.
Some of that hiring is going on here in the Bay Area. More than 80 companies in San Francisco alone have hired people with developmental disabilities, with the tech sector in particular getting into the act with 13 firms hiring, including some biggies like Zendesk, Salesforce and Twitter.
Last year SAP, the Germany-based software company with locations in 130 countries, launched an effort to employ people with autism, saying it offered a “potential competitive advantage.” As part of that effort, they hired workers with autism at their Palo Alto location. SAP is also developing an internship program where students with autism who have software knowledge and programming skills will be able to work toward employment.
So things are looking up. Here’s to the future!