12 Days of Giving, Day 3: Dhyana H.J.F. December 3, 2015 13:56

Today's featured artist is Dhyana H.J.F. For any purchase of Dhyana's work today, we will donate an art-related toy to a child in need through Toys for Tots

Dhyana started making art after she faced employment discrimination due to her disabilities. She found that art provided an accidental distraction and outlet for her stress. She says, "It makes me feel productive, proud, and confident again. Art has become my lifeline."

Mission Winter by Dhyana H.J.F.

While an estimated one third of American workers are disabled, the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that the national unemployment rate for working-age disabled individuals is 12.5% vs. 5.9% for non-disabled individuals. Further, recent research by the National Bureau of Economic Research showed that, all else being equal, hiring employers were 26% more likely to express interest in non-disabled job applicants than in equally-qualified disabled applicants. Yet the U.S. Department of Labor reports that a majority of accommodations for disabled employees are negligible in cost and employers often qualify for disabled employees are negligible in cost and employers often qualify for tax incentives for being accommodating.

Padanaram by Dhyana H.J.F.

Studies even suggest that inclusive employment practices regarding disabled employees can improve a company's bottom line and long-term viability. While many big companies such as Microsoft, IMB, P&G, and Ernst & Young have demonstrated a commitment to disability employment and accommodation, the gap is clear. If you are an employer, please keep these statistics in mind as you think about your hiring needs and policies.