Disabled Find Help in Tough Job Market - 8 News NOW

Tedd Florendo, Reporter

Disabled Find Help in Tough Job Market

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If you think it's hard to find a job right now, imagine if you were disabled and passed over for someone who is more physically fit. A job fair in Henderson now gives hope. It's strictly to help those disabled people find stable work in an unstable economy.

In 2005, more than 56,000 people with disabilities were unemployed in Clark County. The Nevada Disability Advocacy and Law Center says it's even higher now, which is why they put on an employability fair in Henderson.

They say the disabled want to work and can, if given the right opportunity.

Darcell Poteet and Sade Phillips need a job, right now. They both have the qualifications. Both have worked with kids. Both have management experience. The problem is, they're both disabled.

Darcell in a wheelchair because of her heart and Sade has a reading and sight disability. They have heard the same song and dance from employers time and time again.

"It's just nobody is hiring. They see you in a chair and it's like, ‘Not hiring,'" said Darcell.

But at the job fair in Henderson, they are hiring. It's an employability fair with one purpose -- to get people like Darcell and Sade into jobs despite their disability.

"Most of the people here offer jobs to people with disabilities, whether it's on a volunteer basis or for a competitive employer," said Carolyn Taylor.

Employers were from all over the valley. The Easter Seals, Nevada State College and the Social Security Administration were all offering jobs.

Bob Waldorf with the Blind Center of Nevada says half his staff are people with disabilities, "We've hired a lot of people with disabilities who do marketing calls and schedule pick-ups."

Sade recalls what her grandmother used to tell her, "Don't ever give up. It comes your way."

For Darcell and Sade, what looked like a grim end to the year now looks promising.

Not only did they offer jobs, but people could sign up for classes on how to make your resume more marketable and how to pass the interview process.

There were only about 12 employers total, but this was the fair's first year and they hope to get more employers and more attendees next year since they say people walked away with happy faces and questions answered.

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