The unemployment rate among adults with disabilities is nearly 2 times the national average.1 While two out of three people with disabilities want to work, they often have difficulty securing jobs because of accessibility issues and attitudinal barriers. And, as more jobs require technology-based skills and training, the barriers to employment for people with disabilities can become even harder to break.

That’s why Comcast NBCUniversal partners with organizations like Easterseals to expand the technology skills and digital access of people with disabilities. For more than 25 years, Easterseals Employment Services has worked to ensure that everyone who wants to work is able to work – to their fullest potential, regardless of ability. To make this goal a reality, the staff works collaboratively with companies like Comcast NBCUniversal to bring new resources to the community, and ensure that positions are individually designed to match participants’ strengths with employers’ needs.

In 2011, Comcast NBCUniversal established the Assistive Technology Fund to help people of all ages through services ranging from digital literacy training to educational applications for young students with autism and developmental delays.

Five years later in 2016, Comcast NBCUniversal announced a donation of an additional $200,000 in Assistive Technology grants to Easterseals, to keep this momentum going. Local communities all over the country are leveraging these grants to transform the employment landscape for people with disabilities. For example, Easterseals Employment Services in Colorado used their 2016 grant to empower nearly 350 individuals with varying disabilities, including disabled veterans, who wanted to work with the new technology skills they needed.

Mark, a long-time member of the Easterseals Colorado Work Crew, understood the benefits of the grant immediately. “I am excited to learn and use the new technology here, thanks to Comcast,” said Mark. “I know it will really benefit my life to learn these skills. Easterseals has done so much for me and I love coming to work every day.”

Through 2016, the Assistive Technology Fund provided more than $750,000 worth of technology programs that benefit nearly 50,000 people with disabilities and their families. We look forward to continuing this impactful work with Easterseals across our footprint, and continuing to help connect people with opportunity.

Data provided by Easterseals