Obama should tackle this employment crisis to help move beyond his comments on Leno. He can do this by requiring the federal government to hire more people with disabilities, providing seed grants to states to create innovative career training and entry programs, and offering tax credits to companies that adopt aggressive hiring, training and retention programs for people with disabilities.
These measures would allow other people with disabilities to share in some of the expanded opportunities that have helped my brother. Securing his limited independence and community participation was a labor of love for my family. My mother surrendered a promising legal career just to fight for the full support and opportunities our society provides to people with disabilities. Yet compared with most families who have a child with a disability, we were lucky. Many parents simply do not have the time to overcome resource constraints and bureaucratic barriers to real social inclusion.