There is still a long way to go in improving the type and level of program support in how persons with disabilities can be helped in employment. For example, many career practitioners who specialize in supporting people with disabilities find that their profession can be a thankless and very difficult one. They are in the firing line to getting flack from some clients, funders, and other stakeholders who want them to perform miracles with little or no support to do it from anywhere. I have seen caring career practitioners fervently advocate for their clients to get them effective supports and resources so that their clients are served appropriately. For many of them, going beyond the call of duty is a regular occurrence and this should not be expected. They often help at great personal cost – for if they only worked with the resources they were given, many of their clients would suffer.
This sector has to attract and keep its best professionals, but it is very difficult to do so when the disability field is continuously under funded/supported and the profession itself is precariously funded. Meanwhile, as in any profession, people with disabilities have to deal with both good and bad career practitioners. Some career practitioners assume that all clients with disabilities need rehab and life skills training before they are work ready. Some treat their clients as numbers, stats, and pawns in programs rather than as real people and pay little heed in the negative impact that their actions have on their clients and their clients’ families. Perhaps this attitude comes from burnout or giving up because of lack of supports. Another reason might be that people with disabilities are not respected and influential enough to get their needed supports, and as a result, the sector can attract unsuitable programs and people to work with them.
Programs serving people with disabilities often have funding that depends on the whims of funders, other key stakeholders, and whatever approach or philosophy is popular at the time. Serving the needs of people with disabilities has to be a permanent active commitment if real positive change for them is to happen and not based on some 6 month – 3 year project or passing fancy.