Employers get a nice tax break when
they hire people with disabilities through
United Cerebral Palsy of Northern
But the agency's chief executive says
most employers are motivated by something
other than financial considerations.
"They have a wish to give something
back to the community. A lot of people
don't know how to do that," said Russ
Rougeau, founding executive director of
the Reno-based organization.
Despite its name, United Cerebral
Palsy's clients include people with a variety
of disabilities not just cerebral
palsy and one of the agency's missions
is to get as many as possible into the
"We want them to be taxpayers
instead of tax users," Rougeau said a few
Here's how United Cerebral Palsy
makes that happen:
The agency's staff tests clients to
determine how they might fit into the
workplace and provides some basic training.
Typically, Rougeau said, United
Cerebral Palsy clients find jobs in industries
such as gaming, hospitality and fastfood.
Others have gone to work in businesses
ranging from floral shops to light
Because employers typically don't have
the time or expertise to devote to on-thejob
training of a person with a disability,
United Cerebral Palsy first sends one of
its job coaches to the workplace for a few
days to learn the job at the agency's
The job coach works at least three
weeks with the client to teach him the
United Cerebral Palsy follows up with
at least two visits a month with the
employee to make sure no problems arise.
The primary tax benefit available to
employers is the Work Opportunity Tax
Credit, which provides a one-time credit
of up to $2,400 per worker.
About 65 people are at work through
the supported employment program of
United Cerebral Palsy. Its other services
include housing assistance as well as
workshop employment for disabled people
who aren't ready for the competitive
What to do
For information about the United
Cerebral Palsy of Northern Nevada
employment program, call the
agency at 331-323 and ask to
speak to an employment specialist.