World Arthritis Day Promotes Workers with Disabilities Awareness

Tomorrow is World Arthritis Day, which is intended to highlight the everyday challenges at home and in the workplace for persons with arthritis or rheumatism, and to encourage solutions to these challenges.

Pain, fatigue, and activity limitations that often accompany arthritis can prevent some persons from working, resulting in disability. DOL is reminding employers that various accommodations, such as flexible work schedules and assistive devices, can be used to counter the effects of arthritis and help keep people with arthritis working.

Each October, DOL sponsors National Disability Employment Awareness Month, which is intended to increase public awareness of the contributions and skills of U.S. workers with disabilities and to eliminate employment barriers.

The Americans with Disabilities Act prohibits discrimination against persons with disabilities under certain circumstances, including some employment situations. However, DOL says studies show that ADA is underused and often misunderstood by persons with arthritis. Additional information about World Arthritis Day is available at www.worldarthritisday.org.

The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention recently released a study that provides the first ever state-by-state data on adults experiencing work limitations caused by arthritis. Work limitation due to arthritis in all working-age adults ranged from a low of 3.4 percent in Hawaii to a high of 15 percent in Kentucky. The proportion of working-age adults with arthritis who reported that the disease was severe enough to limit their ability to work ranged from 25.1 percent in Nevada to 51.3 percent in Kentucky, the report said.

For more information, visit CDC's Arthritis Web Site at www.cdc.gov/arthritis.

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