Topic Area


Chair: Dr. Bob Stodden, Center on Disability Studies at UH Mānoa

Co-Chair: Lesley Fukushima, Center on Disability Studies at UH Mānoa

On a chalkboard, two hands shaking with "teamwork" written above the hands.


Employment for persons with disabilities is important as a contributing member of the society and for their quality of life. There are many untapped talents that can enhance our workforce. However, we must work together to create opportunities, and include and empower people with disabilities to gain access to meaningful employment. While many barriers have been identified, which impact the participation and success of persons with disabilities in integrated employment, it is also widely understood that community-based, integrated employment is a critical outcome for persons with disabilities to participate and enjoy a quality of life similar to others.

Of particular interest are proposals seeking to clarify what Integrated Employment means to persons with disabilities and to potential employers, and/or which provide quality data in support of models, strategies, and programs which support persons with disabilities to participate and succeed as integrated employees. With the current Pandemic sweeping the world, we are also seeking proposals which describe the impact of public health disasters upon the employability of persons with disabilities.

Guiding Questions

  • What is and isn’t working in employment preparation for and retention of persons with disabilities in the workplace?
  • What are the recognized characteristics of a successful integrated employment framework for persons with disabilities? 
  • What are some of the typical employment preparation pathways accessed by persons with disabilities?
  • What are examples of positive ways Workforce Development groups have included persons with disabilities into their plans and into their programs – failures and successes?   
  • What efforts have been made for integrated employment at the community level and at the policy level?

Suggested Topics

  • Workplace accommodations and disability issues.
  • Development of inclusive policies and practices.
  • Employee and employer rights – Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA), SSI.
  • Assistive technology pertaining to employment accommodations.
  • Provision of fair, competitive wages and other reasonable accommodations.
  • Support services – reliable transportation, pre-employment transition service, vocational rehabilitation.
  • Self-Employment & entrepreneurship.
  • Hiring, building and fostering workplaces for disability and diversity employees.
  • Human resources – intersections ADA, FMLA, workers’ compensation, and other common issues.