Focus on Ability in the Workplace

Did you know that 15% of the world’s population has a disability? That’s one billion people, and according to the International Labour Organization, 785 million people with disabilities are of working age. Yet people with disabilities have a high unemployment rate because of many stereotypes and misconceptions about their ability to work.

People with disabilities can and do work, and they can be a valuable asset to businesses.

The International Labour Organization created a short video called “The Ability Factor: Employing People with Disabilities Makes Good Business Sense.” Watch it to learn about some of the valuable contributions people with disabilities can and do make in the workplace.

Upcoming Event: Persons with Disabilities—An Untapped Workforce

We want to share an exciting upcoming event and invite you to attend. On Thursday, November 21, Randy Lewis of Walgreens will give a presentation on “Persons with Disabilities—An Untapped Workforce.” This is a fantastic opportunity, especially for businesses, to discuss inclusive work environments and the valuable skills people with disabilities contribute to the workforce.

The event is free, although registration is required.

Event Details

Persons with Disabilities—An Untapped Workforce
A Conversation with Randy Lewis, Walgreens
“No Greatness without Goodness”

Thursday, November 21, 2013
12:30 – 3:00 p.m.
Community Room, Giant, Camp Hill, PA
GIANT – Camp Hill – Super Food Store, 3301 Trindle Road, Camp Hill, PA 17011

A light lunch will be provided.

About the Event

As the Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Logistics at Walgreens, Randy Lewis created thousands of full-time jobs for people with disabilities. No Greatness without Goodness is Randy’s firsthand account of what it takes to lead with courage in order to change people’s lives for the better. Randy’s motto is “What’s the use of having power if you don’t use it to do good.”  Randy bet his career that he could create an inclusive workplace at one of America’s biggest corporations where people with disabilities could not just succeed, but thrive. He shares the powerful story of a corporate executive who, after watching the world through the eyes of his own child with autism, Austin, realized that we all have a greater responsibility to make the world a better place for everyone, including those with disabilities.


Cheryl Pfingstl
Please RSVP by Nov. 19
Limited seating is available.

Why Should a Business Hire Someone with a Disability?

The theme of this year’s National Disability Employment Awareness Month (October 2013) is “Because We Are EQUAL to the Task,” meaning people with disabilities can be and are successful in the workplace. They have the education, training, and the desire.

Let us take a moment to look at that theme from another perspective. Businesses all require one thing: getting the job done. Getting the job done means that the task is the primary focus. Every task may not be for everyone, but everyone can accomplish a task. Regardless of what that task may be, there is someone who can complete it.

People from all walks of life experience challenges, and businesses still expect them to perform their job. The challenges an individual is experiencing do not necessarily interfere with their ability to do their job. That expectation remains the same for someone with a disability.

Finding the right person for the job is a business’s first priority. This mindset is based on a business’s need for high productivity, low turnover, low absenteeism, and low tardiness. This in turn results in high profitability. It has been proven that people with disabilities are the most dedicated, hard-working, and diligent employees that businesses have.

Shari Wharton of BelFor Restoration in Middletown, Pennsylvania has hired a person with a disability to fill a position, and she said that she is “pleased with the fact that the employee displayed enthusiasm and loyalty, as opposed to someone [without disabilities] taking the job for granted.”

“Employees from Gateway are valuable assets,” said Harry Hauptman of Chapel Pointe in Carlisle, Pennsylvania. (Gateway Employment Group provides supported employment services for people with disabilities.)

In addition to gaining a valuable employee, businesses can take advantage of various federal programs that encourage recruiting and hiring people with disabilities, which in turn makes businesses eligible for tax credits.

The links below have more information about these tax credits.

Employing people with disabilities is not only a way to expand your business, but it will enhance your business. You will gain a dedicated, hard-working employee who will help carry your business into the future.