Paid by the Penny: When Disabled Workers’ Rights are Compromised

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About Erin Kelly

Erin M. Kelly is a columnist, writer, and freelance editor with Cerebral Palsy who wants to be recognized for her work rather than her disability. She’s a 2009 graduate of Penn State Altoona, where she majored in Letters, Arts and Sciences. During her senior year, she was hired as a columnist for The Altoona Mirror, the daily newspaper in Altoona, PA. Her column entitled, “The View From Here,” runs monthly and addresses in a light-hearted, humorous manner the challenges she faces daily. Writing is her window to the world and gives her the opportunity to bring what’s inside out.


  1. Ronrays says:

    The author is 100% correct in her views but unfortunately we are living in a very unfriendly environment for workers here in the US. Workers of all stripes and colors are under assault by greedy corporations and indifferent government. Until there is at least a partial change in attitude on the part of employers with regard to living wages and fair labor practices the hope of fair treatment of the disabled is a pipe dream. We as a country need to get the message to those in charge that these practices are unfair and will no longer be tolerated.

    • Steve Steveson says:

      If only it were greedy corporations. I have found big corporations are much better to work for as someone with a disability. They often have processes and procedures in place to find out what you need, if anything, and want to minimize any problems your disability might cause and only want to know if you can do the job.

      Its the small time businesses, franchises and “mom and pop” stores that abuse disabled people. They are the ones that won’t do simple things like paint bathrooms in high contrast, move a team to a wheelchair accessible room or not insist that everyone must be able to answer the phone to customers, even the deaf accountant. Unfortunately these are the real barriers disability causes. I don’t think it is about lower productivity and meaningless things implying we will care more. It is simple things that make life difficult and pure discrimination where people see someone come in with a disability and immediately decide “no” without even asking how or if the disability will even affect the persons ability to do the job.


  1. [...] This is a comment by Steve Steveson on “Paid By The Penny: When Disabled Worker Rights Are Compromised“: [...]

  2. […] especially considering it was just a few short months ago that thousands of them were getting paid mere pennies per hour (many still […]

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