Phoenix, Arizona, Nov. 7 – Republican gubernatorial candidate Doug Ducey won re-election, defeating Democratic challenger David Garcia in the election for Arizona’s governorship.
In the weeks prior to the election, Ducey issued a proclamation for Disability Employment Awareness Month. He emphasized the importance of people with disabilities’ impact on the economy while highlighting a need for a break down in stigmas against people with disabilities.
There are 432,087 working-age Arizonans living with some form of disabilities. That total includes people who are blind or deaf or have other visible conditions such as spinal cord injuries, as well as people with invisible disabilities including learning disabilities, mental health or Autism.
Of that number, 150,434 have jobs. The Copper State now has a 34.8 percent disability employment rate. According to RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that works to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities, Arizona ranks 33rd compared to the rest of the country.
As governor, Ducey hopes to continue improving the lives of people with disabilities in Arizona. This includes ensuring that paths to employment are open to the disability community.
“Arizona workplaces welcoming of the talents of all residents including individuals with disabilities, are part of a critical parts of our efforts to encourage a diverse community and rigorous economy,” writes Ducey in the proclamation. “Arizona prospers when an integrated workforce includes people with and without disabilities working side by side earning competitive wages and benefits. Businesses and organizations that hire, retain, and promote people with disabilities continue to discover that a strong workforce is an inclusive workforce. The perspective and creativity of people with disabilities benefit employers who acknowledge each person’s unique strengths and talents.”