A discussion of prejudice against people with disabilities

GREENVILLE, SC (WSPA) – According to a recent study by one of the leading networks for equality and inclusion in the workplace, Employers’ Network for Equality and Inclusionpeople with disabilities are significantly less likely to be hired than others.

As part of 7NEWS’ ‘Community Conversations’, anchor Taylor Murray spoke with Tyler Rex, the executive director of Thriving Upstate to break down the barrier of prejudice against people with disabilities.

It’s more than a job for Tyler Rex.

He is Executive Director of Thrive Upstate, Greenville County’s largest and oldest provider of disability support services.

“My wife and I have four children. Two of them were born with special needs,” Rex said.

It was a personal passion that led him to a career focused on supporting people with disabilities.

“When our eldest daughter was born just over 20 years ago, our life and my professional life took an unexpected, but welcome turn,” Rex said.

Both at home and at work, his mission is to integrate his children and those he helps into the community, side by side with everyone else. But Rex said bias made it difficult.

What is a bias against people with disabilities?

“It can be something as simple as making hiring decisions that make it difficult for someone with a disability to get hired,” Rex said.

Rex said sometimes our bias is fueled by things we take for granted, like the ability to get from point A to point B with relative ease.

“We get in our vehicles and drive on Greenville County roads which are very conducive to what we need. But, we’ve made it very difficult for a person with a disability to just get to where they need to go in Greenville,” Rex said.

Identify and overcome bias

Bias, even if unconscious and involuntary, Rex said, creates a barrier that prevents people with disabilities from having a seat at the table.

“To be human means to have biases. The challenge is to recognize that we have them and to overcome our natural tendencies to be biased.

Tyler Rex, Executive Director, Thrive Upstate

Rex said people with disabilities have so much to contribute and really want to be part of society.

He said he saw a desire in his own children and the people he supports to be a part of it all. Not separated or outside, but included and accepted.

“Living with a disability doesn’t mean you don’t have goals and the ambition to have a high quality of life. My desire would be for everyone to ask themselves, would that be enough for me? If I had a disability, would this job or this system within our community be enough for me? »

Tyler Rex, Executive Director, Thrive Upstate

“Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference 2022”

Tyler Rex is one of more than a dozen community leaders who will speak at the upcoming “Peace and Conflict Resolution Conference” hosted by the Rotary Club of Greenville.

The annual conference will be held May 12 at the Greenville Convention Center. This year’s theme is “Finding Peace in a World Full of Conflict and Prejudice”.

7NEWS presenter Taylor Murray will serve as ‘master of ceremonies’.

If you are interested, you can register at peaceandconflictresolution.com.

“Community Conversations” is a new 7NEWS series where we’ll sit down for one-on-one conversations with leaders, influencers, innovators, changemakers, and Upstate community makers on topics that matter to you.

About Bradley J. Bridges

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