“When you are a person with a disability,” my daughter often told me, “you spend your life hearing that your physical limitations are not an issue. Like anyone else, you can accomplish anything you’re willing to work hard to achieve.
“It’s just too bad no one else ever believes it.”
Like so many of the 33 million working-age people with disabilities in America today, my daughter often struggled to find acceptance and opportunity in the working world simply because she was confined to a wheelchair. And while it’s been more than twenty years since the enactment of the Americans with Disabilities Act, there has been only marginal improvement in our ability and willingness to tap this overlooked talent pool.
That’s why it’s so important to celebrate those organizations that have recognized its value and champion larger efforts.
On April 8, some of the most progressive and successful companies in North America will come together in San Antonio, Texas, to renew their commitment to promoting practices that engage the disabled—both in the workforce and the marketplace.
Hosted by Toyota Motor Sales USA, this year’s Disability Matters conference will honor AT&T, Exelon Corporation, Office Depot, UPMC, Fifth Third Bank, Rush University Medical Center, Brown-Forman, Genentech, and PricewaterhouseCoopers for their efforts in the workforce and workplace. They’ll also recognize those individuals spearheading efforts to drive continual improvement at their own organizations, including Dawn Ehrhart, senior VP at Adecco; Margaret Madden, VP and assistant general counsel at Pfizer; and Brad Hopton, partner at PricewaterhouseCoopers.
These organizations and individuals join a host of notable others whose dedication to bringing the best talent to the table has allowed them to see beyond common misconceptions—like accommodation will be costly, the need for supervision or assistance will be constant, or absenteeism will be chronic—that cause other companies to overlook candidates with disabilities.
Hear how they’ve done it, and learn about best practices your own organization can apply, at the Disability Matters conference April 8–10. Register today and join the organizations and people that are changing the conversation about what you can accomplish in your career when you live with disabilities.
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