The Harkin Summit: Innovating for Inclusion

Doubling Disability Employment In A Changing Landscape

Florence Daunis, director of operations for Handicap International, closed the first day of the 2017 Harkin Summit with remarks on the reality of improving the job market for people with disabilities.

“It’s hard to convince people to hire people with disabilities,” Daunis said. “People are told no for having a disability.”

She then continued to talk about common business practices in place that some companies practice instead of hiring people with disabilities. Daunis mentioned that there is a quota for businesses with over 15 employees to have a percentage of their employees be people with disabilities, but she mentioned that businesses don’t always abide by those laws.

“They pay the $6.00 fine instead of hiring people with disabilities,” Daunis said. “Or people are hired to stay at home.”

She went on to say how much of a mistake these practices are, “Don’t think that people with disabilities have no skills or capacities.”

Echoing a repeating theme in many of the smaller discussions taking place at the summit, that all people with disabilities need to work together, Daunis concluded with, “we have to work on helping people coordinate with each other.”


Written by Anne Matte