By Michael Rock:

It is no secret that people with disabilities have a high unemployment rate compared to the general population. Despite improvements in the current strong economy, there is still much work to be done. In the meantime, there have been several innovative approaches used to help address their unemployment issues.

San Diego County recently pledged to staff its offices with people with disabilities as a model for other places that may hire them in the future.

In other cases, parents whose children struggle to find employment open their own businesses where their children can work alongside them. In such family businesses, people with disabilities can make a living helping parents provide goods and services that can range from furniture assembly to flavored popcorn.

As our society becomes more aware of how best to integrate people with disabilities into the workforce, there are alternative options that can be quite meaningful in helping to reduce unemployment.

Michael Rock is a New York City-based reporter and self-advocate with autism. A graduate of Brandeis University, his work has appeared in Kings County Politics, Chelsea Now, Our Town, Queens County Politics, and WhoWhatWhy.