Greater Houston disability chamber of commerce
The Greater Houston Disability Chamber of Commerce was founded in 2017 in order to address unemployment disparities among Houstonians with disabilities.
According to the 2016 Annual Disability Status Report by the American Community Survey, the employment rate for people of working age with disabilities was 39.7%, as compared to 78.3% for their non-disabled counterparts.
As per the Texas Council on Developmental Disabilities (TCDD), approximately 10,000 individuals are in sheltered workshops which pay subminimum wages in Texas. 66% of those organizations pay 100% of their workers subminimum wages. Almost 60% of the organizations that reported their wages pay less than $.50 per hour to their employees.
The GHDCC was founded in order to address these disparities.
Our chamber model is a dual customer initiative. Traditional chambers serve businesses exclusively. The GHDCC, however, serves two groups of people. It serves Houstonian job seekers who have disabiities, as well as local businesses that are willing to recruit, hire, and offer supported employment with competitive wages to job seekers with disabilities.
The GHDCC is here to teach businesses about the benefits of hiring people who have disabilities; what supported employment is and how to provide it. We don’t want to merely see our members being hired, but we want to see that they will have longevity at their place of employment, that they will be treated fairly and with dignity, and that they will receive competitive wages. We know that all of this becomes possible when businesses are given the tools to make such an employment initiative successful.
The GHDCC also strives to help our job seekers to become workplace ready by offering workshops and education to them, as well as by connecting them to job coaches and a multitude of other transition services.
Ultimately, the GHDCC will serve as a pipeline in which to prepare and to connect businesses and job seekers.
Welcome to our website! We look forward to connecting with you.
About Our Logo
As disability advocates, we strive for improvement in the lives of people with disabilities. We see the separation and the segregation that often affect them, and we strive to eliminate those. We wholly identify and understand the need for progress and for meaningful change.
Our logo is a simple but powerful one. It is a mere bridge. It is characterized by 3 arches, each one having two sides, one red and one blue. Each of the arches is supported by 4 beams, for a total of 12. The GHDCC bridge does not just exist within a two-dimensional framework, but it has depth and the subtlety of a third dimension, as if the bridge is coming out of the paper at the viewer. The bridge is preceded by our monogram, which effectively signals to the viewer that this is one of the roads where the journey to gainful employment begins.
So what does this all mean?
The bridge in and of itself represents transition and change. It’s 3-dimensional “coming out of the paper” imagery signifies progress and forward motion. These elements are ones that, as advocates, we always strive to achieve.
The bridge further symbolizes the joining and connecting of people. Bridges do, after all, connect geographical structures that may otherwise seem nearly impossible to span.
The bridge is bolstered by 3 sets of pillars. For the GHDCC, these sets represent the 3 ideals that must be met in order to make “Employment First” possible. These ideals are: self-determination; normalization; and integrated residential and employment life.
As disability advocates, we build and fortify bridges. Our bridges create connections that enable individuals with disabilities to effectively enter and to work, live and play in the community. As disability employment specialists, we build bridges that, not only create inclusive environments, but that help to sustain them as well.
Finally, take notice of the absence of a land mass or body of water beneath the bridge. What is it spanning, you may ask? The absence of anything beneath it points to the totality of the many barriers that our bridge will help people to overcome. It is not just one obstacle or challenge that our chamber will be able to address, but many.