LITTLE ROCK, AR – Grateful for the important role by workers with disabilities, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas commemorates National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) this October. This year’s theme for NDEAM, administered by the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, is “#InclusionWorks,” which underscores the important role played by workers with disabilities in enhancing workplace diversity.
“National Disability Employment Awareness Month is about giving all people the opportunity to demonstrate their skills at the workplace,” said Brian Itzkowitz, President & CEO of Goodwill Industries of Arkansas. Workplace accommodation is low cost, and it positively impacts the workplace in many ways. Workplace accommodation such as scheduling flexibility, allowances in dress code rules or allowing someone to sit (or stand) when other positioning is customary costs absolutely nothing for companies to implement, but it produces a better work environment, thereby creating productivity in the workplace.
“By fostering a culture that embraces individual differences, including disabilities, businesses profit by having a wider variety of tools to confront challenges,” said Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy, Jennifer Sheehy. “Our nation’s most successful companies proudly make inclusion a core value. They know that inclusion works.”
• Get executive commitment—Having commitment from the top sends a clear message to senior management about the seriousness and business relevance of this issue. Also, top-down commitment will reinforce the desired outcomes and assist in conveying the expectation of cooperation, involvement and commitment on the part of senior management and their staff.
• Incorporate disability into existing diversity committees—This group is usually composed of a vertical and horizontal cross-section of the organization and can help analyze assessment data and make recommendations to top management.
• Design relevant, interactive applicable training—The purpose of good training is to not just increase awareness and understanding about disability, to also develop concrete skills that employees can use. Starting with awareness training and advancing to knowledge training and training that builds specific skills is common.
• Ensure integration—Integrate the concepts, skills and results of your disability efforts into the fabric of the organization.
• Partnerships—There are a number of organizations that can assist your company in the successful integration of people with disabilities into your workforce.
For almost 90 years, Goodwill Industries of Arkansas has worked to support job seekers with disabilities and specialized circumstances through education, training and employment.
“Goodwill believes that by assisting all workers in achieving their full potential, we are able to build stronger communities,” said Itzkowitz. “Once again this year, we are thrilled to celebrate the drive, determination and human spirit of those who face barriers to employment.”
For more information about how your donations help us support employees with disabilities in obtaining meaningful employment, visit our website at GoodwillAR.org.
About Goodwill Industries of Arkansas
Goodwill Industries of Arkansas is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization dedicated to the mission of changing lives through education, training and employment. Revenue generated through the sale of reusable donated goods at Goodwill retail stores is used to create jobs and fund these critical training programs for Arkansans. Last year, Goodwill put more than 4,500 Arkansans to work and offered 224,000 services to over 27,800 individuals in Arkansas. Information may also be found at GoodwillAR.org.
(501) 372-5100 x1191 office
(501) 773-7095 cell
1 The Realities of Hiring People with Disabilities, Bridges from School to Work.