INDIANAPOLIS -- A bill signed by Governor Eric Holcomb on Thursday will offer new resources and attention to help solve one of the biggest challenges people with disabilities face: finding a job.
Part of that bill includes a review of state and local policies for people with disabilities, advocates say it would bring attention to the resources available to help them find work and recover their lives.
Debi Hayworth has lived with depression since she was a teen. Her depression was so bad at one point that she didn’t set foot outside of her home for almost four years.
Hayworth now works full time at Midtown Community Mental Health Center where she helps people going through the same things that she did identify barriers and goals for their recovery.
“I’m at a point in my recovery where things that I thought were for everyone else are happening for me, too,” said Hayworth.
Hayworth is also working on her graduate degree in Art Therapy at Indiana University-Purdue University Indianapolis. She said she hopes to use that degree to help others the way it helped her.
“If I had known the resources were out there I probably would have gotten my dream job a lot faster than I did,” said Hayworth. “I didn’t know what would happen if I went to work and I couldn’t make it.”
Senate Bill 380 will help ensure that people with disabilities of all levels of severity aren’t held back like Hayworth was.
“It’s the success stories that make it all worthwhile,” said Hayworth. “Knowing that you’re able to make a difference in someone’s life using your own personal experience: the deepest, darkest days of your own life.”
Advocates of the bill say a job helps people with disabilities become integrated into their community and reduces the need for public assistance.