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About The daily Nebraskan. ([Lincoln, Neb.) 1901-current | View Entire Issue (April 9, 1973)
by Jane Owens
Handicapped workers-a category that's difficult to
separate from the general labor force, according to personnel
at three Lincoln employment agencies.
None of the agencies keep statistics on the number of
handicapped persons they help find jobs, officials said.
"If a person is disabled but remains active and does his job,
you don't really consider him to be handicapped," UNL
Personnel Director Roy London, said. This is the major reason
the personnel office keeps no records of the number of
handicapped workers at UNL, he said.
Loudon said he estimates that "roughly two or three per
cent" of UNL employes have some type of disability.
"Quite often a person's handicap won't enter into his work
qualifications at all," accord. ng to Mary Crom, counselor at
the State Employment Service. "If a secretary can take
dictation, what does it matter if she only has one leg?"
"There is a multitude of jobs a disabled person can do
where his handicap won't affect his performance," said Robert
Brandt, director of the Department of Veterans Affairs for the
State of Nebraska.
However, not all of the handicapped workers who seek
employment through the veterans office are placed in jobs,
"You can't place everyone because you have to find the
right job to go along with the disability," he said.
Brandt estimated that about 10 per cent of the veterans
who find employment through the office have some sort of
disability. . .
Handicapped workers hold a wide variety of positions.
They have jobs ranging from custodial work to high-ranking
administrative posts at UNL, Loudon said.
"The mentally handicapped are usually placed on jobs
where they receive routine instructions and can carry out
simplified tasks. With the physically handicapped, areas (of
employment) are much much broader," he explained.
The personnel department cooperates with several agencies
for the mentally retarded and the physically handicapped to
obtain employes, the director said.
Some UNL employes from the Beatrice State Home work
on campus and live in Lincoln "in a soit of halfway house"
with other patients, Loudon said.
Handicapped employes receive no toimalized training on
campus. Instead, they die trained informally on-the-job or by
private agencies, he said.
Sometimes the personnel office and various agencies will
establish special work programs "to help disabled workers
develop an area of expertise," Loudon said.
The UNL office currently is planning a project where
visually handicapped persons would man the radios used by
UNL Campus Security.
"The problem (in establishing such programs) is funding,
Loudon said. "We had originally planned to set up the
program for a one-year trial period, using federal and state
funds, but it's a touchy situation. We're not sure the funds will
What are the advantages to employers who hire
handicapped wor kers? , !
"Since these people have a more difficult time finding jobs,
they seem to cherish those jobs a great deal more than the
average person," Loudon said. "They're more punctual, more
stable on the job and don't take as many sick leaves."
The public is becoming more aware of the problems facing
the handicapped, Loudon said.
"Up until 10 years ago, the average person never thought a
great deal about (handicapped) people having problems getting
into buildings," Loudon said. "Now you find curb cuts all over
Lincoln, and many buildings downtown and at UNL now have
ground entrances." Entrance ramps have been added to old
campus buildings and are included in new campus building
plans, he said.
"People are finally becoming sensitized to the problems of
the handicapped," ho adrled.
"The public attitude (on hiring disabled veterans) has been
very good," Brandt said, "our office, along with the State
Employment Office and agencies throughout the state, seems
to be doing a fine job of finding employment for disabled
. -. - - .IIDIIIIMMIHIIIWI ,. ,..j..,BI-,..,.,JliJJiyillJ.lW'''''''"''"'l''OTr""
j thp disabled vet is more
Emp,oyo,s olun fjnd h 'bodied person He
z:o:: JeTt . .. - -
really tries." . . ther eligible veterans,
Handicapped veterans, along with other e g
can receive on-the-job framing 0and establishing
throughout Nebr.sk. Z eligible under
such training programs, Brandt sa'. ne added.
the G... Bill a.so can attenc approved s ools he adde
According to Crom, the staff at . tne aw k
Service refers both handicap Jjd
biased already, no matter what they say. You must stress a
person's positive qualities," she said.
"When we send handicapped persons out on r
apply for jobs) we feel that they can usually sell themselves
above their limitations," she said. trainina
Although handicapped persons receive no ,ob training
through the employment office, the staff might refer them to
other training agencies, Crom said. rDforrinn thP
What are some of the problems involved in referr.ng the
handicapped for jobs? , . th
"The majority of handicapped people don t have the
necessary skills to put them into the labor market Crom sa,d
"Some (handicapped persons) have been lucky and have
gone to school, but then they don't really consider themselves
as handicapped," she added. n.n.rtmpnt of
According to Crom, statistics from the U.S. Department ot
Labor indicate that handicapped workers "seem to be less
accident prone and more careful on the job. They know they
have to do their best to compete with others.
"You have good and bad workers in both categories. Poor
work records are often due to lack of skills and lack of
education." she said.
ph ,,f.h,.(: Tom Lansworth. Managing Editor : Cheryl Westeott.
News Editor: Michael (O.J.) Nelson. oi..
Special Editor: Jim Gray. Sports Editor: Dave Sittler. Photography
Chief: Gail Folda. Night News Editor: Dave Brink.
The Daily Nebraskan is written, edited and managed by students at
the University of Nebraska Lincoln. It is editorially independent of the
University faculty, administration and student body.
The Daily Nebraskan is published by the Publications Committee on
Monday, Wednesday, Thursday and Friday throughout the fall and
spring semesters except holidays and vacations.
Copyright 1973, The Daily Nebraskan. Material may be reprinted
wthoS? permission if attributed to the Daily Nebraskan, excepting
material covered by another copyright.
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monday, april 9, 1973
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