This month celebrates National Disability Employment Awareness, urging organizations big and small to participate, spread awareness, and improve accessibility and inclusivity in the workforce.
The 2022 NDEAM theme is "Disability: Part of the Equity Equation."
The U.S Department of Labor says there are 18,525,862 people with disabilities in the workforce, and the percentage of employed disabled individuals has only been increasing in recent years. Statistics from the NDEAM website show that companies leading in disability inclusion saw 28% higher revenue over four years!
It just goes to show, workers with disabilities are everywhere, in all fields, doing fantastic work.
I had the pleasure of interviewing Bailey, an individual with a disability, who works at Hy-Vee and Culvers. Bailey loves her two jobs and is an incredible asset to each workforce.
Hy-Vee has taken great care of Bailey, seeing great value in her strengths. They have been especially accommodating of her disability, allowing her to shine. When Bailey found the fast-paced life of a dishwasher a little too taxing and the busy work of a bagging clerk overwhelming, Hy-Vee listened to her needs and found a place for her working with seafood.
Bailey loves her job at Hy-Vee dealing with the fish, crabs, and all kinds of ocean critters, even though she tells me there can be some "weird smells," which her mother, who drives her home from work, attests to.
Stacy, Bailey's mother, is incredibly impressed with how accommodating Hy-Vee is to Bailey's disability, saying she "highly recommends any person with a disability apply. They're amazing."
At Culvers, Bailey works the grill, which she answers the question of if she enjoys it with an emphatic "yup!" She also tells me she greatly enjoys portioning out the candy into little cups.
Stacy urges companies to be as accommodating and respectful as Hy-Vee and Culvers have been, saying "I wish other companies would recognize all people's strengths and place them where they're best fit."
You can spread awareness and show your support for National Disability Employment Month through wearing the official colors of NDEAM: yellow and blue
About the author: Cory Atkins is a Grant Writing and Marketing Intern at Marcfirst. Cory is originally from the United Kingdom and moved to America in late 2017 to the pumpkin-crazy town of Morton Il, before enrolling at Illinois State University to study English Studies. He enjoys writing whether that's creating fun blogs or getting into the weeds with the joys of grants.
The views expressed are Cory's and do not necessarily represent the official views of Marcfirst.
Welcome to Lifelong Access.
You may know us as Marcfirst, but we've recently undergone a name change. Why? Because in every phase of life, it’s never a question of if we helped. It’s how we help that truly counts. And how much we helped. Because our clients never outgrow us. And, we never outgrow them. Hence, our new name: Lifelong Access.