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AHRC New York City Recognizes the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act


AHRC New York City Recognizes the 28th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

People with Developmental Disabilities Now Have Meaningful Employment

PR Newswire

NEW YORK, July 26, 2018 /PRNewswire/ -- The following is a message from Marco Damiani:

Marco Damaini, CEO, AHRC New York City

As AHRC New York City marks the 28th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. unemployment rate was 4 percent last month, and more people are entering the workforce. However, far too many individuals with disabilities remain excluded from the workplace.

With more jobs than active job seekers, you would think that businesses would recognize this untapped workforce of dependable, hard-working and loyal employees. But the statistics show otherwise:

A large proportion of people with a disability — about 8 in 10 — were not in the labor force in 2017, compared with about 3 in 10 of those with no disability, according to the most recent Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) report.

In 2017, 18.7 percent of persons with a disability were employed, according to the report. In contrast, the employment-population ratio for those without a disability was 65.7 percent.

One of the most disturbing trends is that people with disabilities are twice as likely to be unemployed than the general population, according to the BLS.

Microsoft Corp. is among the many companies, including Google, SAP, Specialisterne USA, Ford Motor and JPMorgan Chase, which have hired people with autism for their focus and unique perspective. "It's never been more important to have a diverse and inclusive workforce including people with disabilities," Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Microsoft's Chief Accessibility Officer, wrote on the company's Accessibility Blog this week. "Put simply, it helps us create better products that empower people with disabilities. When accessibility is done well, it becomes invaluable to daily life, the workplace, and play. It's ubiquitous and easy to use."

With several decades in the field of intellectual and other developmental disabilities, I've seen how a job can change a person's life. Fortunately, there are companies who embrace diversity in the workforce.

Levy Restaurants' goal is to attract, hire, and support team members with diverse abilities.

"Our fast paced environment with a melting pot of clientele for events in the sports and entertainment industry requires different team members to ensure each guest is treated with the best hospitality experience," said Greg Costa, Director of Operations for Levy Restaurants. "Sometimes - just a warm genuine greeting makes all the difference. We have found that by recognizing each of our team members for their abilities, not their disabilities, brings a true well rounded team effort to that experience."

RXR Realty:

"Having a diverse workforce, including people with disabilities improves the quality of our team experience," said Mitchell Grant. "This has brought value to RXR Realty by helping us re-learn the skills we take for granted and see them in new a more meaningful light. This benefits us by accomplishing more work in a day. Embracing the challenges of others and creating a diverse workforce that is inclusive of people with disabilities enriches all of our lives."

Additionally, Aramark, Marriott International, Wells Fargo, TD Bank, and Atlassian are other such companies.  More diversity and inclusion also leads to happier people, greater engagement, employee retention, and more innovative ideas. It means institutional knowledge stays within the organization.

Marco Damiani is the CEO of AHRC New York City, a family-governed non-profit organization supporting children and adults with intellectual and other developmental disabilities, and one of the largest nonprofits in the nation serving this population.

CONTACT: Dylan Watton,  (212) 780-259

(PRNewsfoto/AHRC New York City)

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