In 1966, the unemployment rate for disabled Americans, such as those who were deaf or blind, was higher than 70 percent.
Nearly a half-century later, the jobless rate for disabled people is “a little better” at 67 percent, said Susan Moe Gjolmesli, longtime director of the Belluvue College Disability Resource Center in Bellevue, Wash. But that’s still two out of every three disabled job seekers who can’t find work.
“They’ve like everybody else; they want to get a job and pay taxes,” the former Great Falls woman said in an interview.
Gjolmesli said she could not get a classroom teaching job herself in the 1980s because of poor eyesight, and she has a friend, a talented violinist and math teacher, who applied for jobs to teach in public schools but was turned down because of severely impaired eyesight.