A national advocacy organization says Indiana can do more to get people with disabilities into the workforce. Respect Ability says hiring more Hoosiers with disabilities might also be important for companies facing a tight labor market.  

A state plan for the support needs of Hoosiers with intellectual and developmental disabilities will get an update soon for the first time in 20 years. A new state task force aimed at helping the estimated 100,000 Indiana residents with such disabilities met in Indianapolis Monday.

Rep. Ed Clere (R-New Albany) authored a bill last session to update the state’s plan to provide community-based services.

“Unfortunately, some people are not being served well or as well as they could be served,” Clere says.

Stan Jastrzebski / WBAA News

In the corner of a basement office in Purdue’s Mann Hall, there’s a desk up on cinder blocks, sitting higher than all the rest. A few feet away there’s a workspace consisting of tables whose height can be raised or lowered. Researcher Brad Duerstock designed his own office  – to accommodate his wheelchair.

“I’ve used mounting systems where I was so kind of physically away from the table, I was more close to the table behind me than the table I was really involved with," he says. "So it is excluding.”

Richard Rutter / https://www.flickr.com/photos/clagnut/2850718628

Missouri is home to two of the nation’s least accessible cities - St. Louis and Springfield. A group named WalletHub gathered information to compile this list of accessible cities. And one criteria it used was how easily people with disabilities can move around. Or, in the case of these cities, can’t.