MCALLEN, Texas(ValleyCentral) — The Disability Chamber of Commerce of Rio Grande Valley is working to help people with disabilities find more job opportunities and to make jobs more inclusive.
People with disabilities have a harder time finding a job than most people.
Vikash Shivdasani suffered an accident in 2006 that left him paralyzed.
He says the biggest struggle to find a job was the lack of education and misinformation some employers had about people with disabilities.
“I found myself really the only person in a wheelchair and a lot of situations. So, it’s normal that people aren’t usually exposed to someone who’s disabled or would understand it to the depth,” Shivdasani said. “So yeah, it was just kind of a struggle in people just understanding or feeling comfortable with it in the beginning.”
According to RGV Health Connect, 12.8 percent of the population in the Valley have a disability. Only 22 percent of people with disabilities have a job in the United States.
The Disability Chamber of Commerce is working with people with disabilities to help them find job opportunities.
“When we think of disability, we think of the physical ones. We don’t remember that sometimes displays are invisible. Diabetes classifies as a disability, and so do autoimmune disorders, fibromyalgia, and anxiety disorder,” Evelyn Cano, co-founder of the Disability Chamber of Commerce said.
Cano says the goal is to have 10 percent of a company’s staff be people with disabilities.
This provides them with meaningful, dignified, and integrative employment opportunities.
Transportation can be one of the biggest issues people may encounter. The lower Rio Grande Valley Metro offers assistance with paratransit upon reservation.
Accommodations, if needed, will be met during pre-registration.
The Disability Chamber of Commerce will be hosting the job fair from 9 a.m. to noon, Wednesday, April 12 at the Embassy Suites by Hilton McAllen Convention Center located on 800 Convention Center Blvd.