"Talent Has No Boundaries" Shines Spotlight On Contribution of Employees with Disabilities10/19/2010
Community Officials, Major Lehigh Valley Corporations Observe National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Lehigh Valley, PA – The Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community of the Lehigh Valley (The Partnership) and Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network, today hosted “Talent Has No Boundaries,” an event that highlighted people with disabilities and the companies that employ them.
The event, held on Good Shepherd's south Allentown campus , featured several major Lehigh Valley corporations such as Protica, that shared positive experiences of employing people with disabilities. In addition, local and regional community officials were in attendance.
“This event was designed to focus on companies where a culture of belief, developed at the top levels, fosters positive opportunities for all employees, said Jim Duffy, President and CEO of Protica. “Through changing how we think of people with disabilities as ‘people’ first, makes everything else possible. Everyone needs support, but the support for many people with disabilities doesn’t always mean high-tech or high cost. Simple things like raising a table, lowering a shelf or slightly altering a schedule to help someone keep a medical appointment are all simple, low or no-cost examples.”
In recognition of October being National Disability Employment Awareness Month, ability demonstrators showcased the use of simple and advanced assistive technology in the workplace. The demonstrations highlighted their ability to function in the workplace and overcome limitations.
“Our program featured some incredible people who use workplace accommodations and assistive technologies to perform their jobs — people who demonstrated their abilities despite limitations that others thought would prevent them from being employed,” said Nelvin Vos, Convener of the Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community. “This program was designed to educate and inspire employers, community officials and the public on employing persons with disabilities.”
“We are pleased to provide opportunities such as Talent Has No Boundaries to showcase how people with disabilities can obtain, maintain and regain employment,” said Sally Gammon , President and CEO of Good Shepherd Rehabilitation Network. “We are fortunate here in the Lehigh Valley to have such rich business resources and strong local, state and federal government support so that people with disabilities continue to be employed and included.”
Pictured, left to right: Rev. Joy Wyler, Esq., Tony Swartz, B.A., and Michelle Mitchell, M.Ed., CRC.
About The Partnership for a Disability Friendly Community: PDFC is a group of individuals and organizations (civic, business, religious and social service) dedicated to improving personal, social and work environments for people living with physical and mental disabilities, by building on the rich resources that already exist in the Lehigh Valley.
About National Disability Employment Awareness Month: Congress designated each October as National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). This effort to educate the American public about issues related to disability and employment actually began in 1945, when Congress enacted a law declaring the first week in October each year “National Employ the Physically Handicapped Week.” In 1962, the word “physically” was removed to acknowledge the employment needs and contributions of individuals with all types of disabilities. In 1988, Congress expanded the week to a month and changed the name to “National Disability Employment Awareness Month.”