Columbia, South Carolina, Nov. 7 – Republican Gov. Henry McMaster has won re-election, defeating Democratic challenger James Smith Jr. for South Carolina’s governorship.
In the weeks prior to the election, McMaster made new commitments on jobs for people with disabilities in a proclamation sent to RespectAbility in October in honor of Disability Employment Awareness Month. RespectAbility is a nonpartisan, nonprofit national organization working to end stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities.
“South Carolinians with disabilities have the same aspirations to competitively work and contribute to their communities as anyone else,” McMaster stated in the proclamation. “All people are needed to reduce attitudinal and physical barriers that hinder the full acceptance of people with disabilities and their rightful place in employment.”
In closing his statement, Gov. McMaster commits to “encourage all South Carolinians to work together to advance the message that people with disabilities are equal to the task.”
This proclamation follows a great year of job growth among people with disabilities living in the Palmetto State. Last year, 23,416 South Carolinians with disabilities entered the state’s workforce. In total, 388,251 working-age people live with some form of disability in South Carolina. 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, 129,766 have jobs. That means the Palmetto State has a disability employment rate of 33.4 percent. According to RespectAbility, a nonpartisan nonprofit organization that works to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities, South Carolina ranks 37th compared to the rest of the country.
“We recognize the achievements of Americans with disabilities whose contributions in the workforce help ensure the strength of our Nation,” McMaster added. “We also renew our commitment to creating an environment of opportunity for all Americans and educating people about disability employment issues.”