Monday, January 10, 2011

What can EMPLOYERS do? Campaign encourages employers to join the movement.

A new public outreach campaign is showing employers that it pays to foster an inclusive and flexible work culture that considers the needs of all employees – including employees with disabilities.

The Campaign for Disability Employment, a newly-formed collaborative of leading disability and business organizations, has launched What Can YOU Do?, a national effort designed to promote the hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities and dispel negative stereotypes about disability and employment.

Every day, people with disabilities can and do add value to America’s workplaces. However, in both good economic times and bad, people with disabilities have far fewer job opportunities than the general population. Through the What Can YOU Do? effort, the Campaign for Disability Employment is encouraging employers, and others, to recognize the value and talent that people with disabilities bring to the workplace, as well as the dividend to be realized by fully including people with disabilities – because at work, it’s what people can do that matters.

Employers have much to gain by having a workplace that is open to everyone. Such universal thinking not only helps recruit skilled employees, but also enhances corporate continuity efforts by helping employers retain the talents of an aging workforce. And when it comes to doing business, being inclusive of people with disabilities—in recruitment, retention and advancement—can offer companies a competitive edge. People with disabilities are known to be experienced problem solvers with a proven ability to adapt. What’s more, they mirror an important and increasingly expanding customer base.

It’s easy for employers, and others, to participate in the What Can YOU Do? Campaign and drive positive change. For example, the Campaign’s Web site,, offers users the chance to learn, engage in disability employment efforts and share their employment experiences. The section designed for employers invites users to express their commitment to an inclusive workplace and to share disability employment, and other, best practices.

The site also features grassroots tools and tangible ideas for supporting the Campaign’s goals, as well as video public service announcements (PSAs) that challenge assumptions about people with disabilities and employment. Included in the video library is the Campaign’s flagship “I Can” PSA, intended for nationwide television broadcast, and "Meet Sue," winner of the What Can YOU Do? Video Contest, which invited aspiring filmmakers to produce their own videos in support of the Campaign’s goals.

The Campaign for Disability Employment is a collaborative effort between the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD); National Business and Disability Council (NBDC); National Council of La Raza (NCLR); National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce (NGLCC); Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM); Special Olympics (SO); and the U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN). The Campaign is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), receives technical assistance from the Job Accommodation Network (JAN) and is supported by the Disability Policy Research Center (DPRC) at West Virginia University. For more information, visit

posted by AtWork! at


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