The National Organization on Disability

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Strike a Chord: Landing a Job with a Disability

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Trying to land a good job in New York City is tough for anyone. But if you have a disability, the challenges pile on. As part of WFUV’s Strike a Chord campaign on accessibility, Rob Palazzolo looks at what it takes to give everyone a shot at a career.

Annette Feliciano works at the Shake Shack in Battery Park City, and she is a dedicated worker. Just after Hurricane Sandy hit, the Shake Shack still had power—and somehow, she got there to start her shift. Of course, she acted like it was no big deal.

“It’s rough, but we made it.” said Feliciano. “We get there to work.”

Feliciano got her job through Jobpath, and organization that helps people with developmental disabilities find work. Ryan Finger was her case manager.

“I got to work with Annette for several months before the job search began, and during that time I got to know her as someone who has a really strong work ethic, who wants to have a job where she’s appreciated, where she can be kept busy,” said Finger.

Carol Glazer is the head of the National Organization on Disability. They have helped companies like Lowe’s home improvement stores hire up to 150 people with disabilities. And Glazer said these individuals have a lot to contribute to the workplace.

NY Business Journal: Jeff Kellan, Board Member at National Organization on Disability

Image of New York Business Journal logo The National Organization on Disability (NOD) announced that Jeff Kellan, VP, Supply Chain Operations, Toys“R”Us, Inc. has been elected to its Board of Directors. The unanimous vote came at NOD’s Board of Directors meeting on February 25.

Influencer Series: Opportunity at Work for the Differently-Abled

Image of the F.B. Heron Foundation logoThe National Organization on Disability’s Carol Glazer discusses the progress on providing opportunity to people with disabilities and the benefits of their contributions.

Twenty-two years ago, my first son Jacob was born with hydrocephalus, or water on the brain. Because of that and a series of medical complications early in Jacob’s life, he is both physically and intellectually disabled, and like most parents, I have been his advocate since his birth. For me this included, at a certain point in my career, making the decision to redirect my efforts from civil rights to disability rights, which meant living disability 24/7. It was not an easy decision, but it was the best one I could have made. It has meant working with wonderful colleagues to help turn the wheel of progress for people like Jacob, so they have the lifetime opportunities they deserve and have every ability to fulfill.

To be fair, this wheel was already turning before I joined in the push. In 1973, just over four decades ago, Congress passed the Rehab Act, which prevented discrimination in hiring by any business accepting federal dollars. It established for the first time, the principle that the exclusion and segregation of people with disabilities was discrimination, caused by prejudice and NOT the inevitable consequence of the physical limitations imposed by a disability.

Its message was that disability is a normal part of the human condition, something that any of us could experience at any time. And that all people, including those with disabilities deserved the right and the opportunity to participate in the workforce.

Cracks in “Talent Pipeline” Pose Risks for Employers and College Students With Disabilities

Image of HuffingtonPost LogoHUFFINGTON POST BLOG By CAROL GLAZER, President, National Organization on Disability

As the leader of a national organization focused on employment for people with disabilities, I routinely have the privilege of visiting places that are doing some remarkable work to advance the issue. My travels of late took me to two notable college campuses: Edinboro University, just outside of Erie, PA, which has committed to excellence in accommodations for students with disabilities; and Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in upstate New York, which has dedicated itself to helping students with disabilities access jobs upon graduation, better ensuring their long-term economic security.

Frankly, America’s colleges and universities would do well to examine what RIT and other leaders in career services are doing right, because many, if not most, are getting it wrong. Nationally, students with disabilities take twice as long to secure a job after graduation. And of the 1.4 million college students with disabilities, about 60-percent of them can expect to not find a job when they graduate. Talk about a harsh dose of reality for young people who simply want to contribute.

When I talk with employers, which is just about every day, they tell me their inability to hire new graduates with disabilities is not due to a lack of qualified candidates, but rather a lack of access. We at the National Organization on Disability decided to take a closer look at this issue recently, which resulted in a white paper titled, Bridging the Employment Gap for Students with Disabilities.

Progress and Challenges in Employment for Persons with Disabilities

Image of Nonprofit Quarterly logo In Senator Tom Harkin’s final speech on the Senate floor, delivered last month to a national audience witnessing the retirement of a public figure of cross-partisan admiration, the most poignant words concerned persons with disabilities. It wasn’t surprising, as Harkin was the author of the Americans with Disabilities Act, and he spoke about one of his disappointments:

“How many of us know that the unemployment rate among adult Americans with disabilities who want to work and can work is over 60 percent?! Yes, you heard me right: almost two out of three people with disabilities cannot find a job. That is a blot on our national character.”

It has been said, actually, that despite all of the accomplishments attributable to the landmark ADA legislation, the area of negligible progress over the past quarter-century has been in employment. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, labor force participation rates and unemployment rates have remained, at best, relatively stable, hardly demonstrating the progress that has occurred in other areas of life for persons with disabilities. The BLS reports that the labor force participation rate for men 16 to 64 with disabilities was 40.6 percent in July of 2008, plunging to 30.0 percent in January of 2014, and rising only to 34.6 percent last month; for women with disabilities, labor force participation was over 30 percent between June of 2008 and December of 2010, but stood at 28.8 percent in December of 2014. That’s well less than half the participation rates of adults in that age bracket without disabilities.

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Events

VIRTUAL NETWORKING: DirectEmployers’ Veteran and Disability Hiring Event
Wednesday, April 8, 2015

WERC CONFERENCE: Successful Strategies for Disability Hiring Targets and Initiatives
Tuesday, May 5, 2015 12:00am Eastern

WEBINAR: Emerging Lessons from the Disability Employment Tracker – Benchmarking from Years 1 & 2
Tuesday, May 5, 2015

ONLINE COURSE: Employing People with Disabilities - A Business Perspective
Monday, June 1, 2015 - Monday, June 29, 2015 12:00pm Eastern

WEBINAR: Best Practices in Partnering with Colleges and Universities to Access Professional Talent
Wednesday, June 10, 2015

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Press Releases

National Organization on Disability Welcomes Jeff Kellan to Board of Directors

Toys“R”Us, Inc. Executive Joins Distinguished Board

Image of Toys February 26, 2014, New York, NY – The National Organization on Disability today announced that Jeff Kellan, VP, Supply Chain Operations, Toys“R”Us, Inc. has been elected to its Board of Directors. The unanimous vote came at NOD’s Board of Directors meeting yesterday afternoon.

“We are pleased to welcome Jeff, a distinguished and accomplished professional, to NOD’s board,” said Gov. Tom Ridge, Chairman of NOD. “Jeff offers unique and personal experiences in disability employment. We are delighted to bring his expertise and perspective to the board, and we thank him for his commitment and continued service to the disability community.”

At Toys“R”Us, Inc., Kellan is responsible for managing global transportation, retail and e-commerce distribution, and oversees how the company’s merchandise is acquired, transported and stored across the supply chain. He also oversees U.S. distribution and fulfillment.

NOD Welcomes New Employers to CEO Council

CEO Council – Employers of Choice for People with Disabilities – Set for Further Growth in 2015

February 11, 2015, New York, NY – The National Organization on Disability has formally announced the companies who joined its CEO Council over the past year. The NOD CEO Council is a body of employers who have distinguished themselves as leaders in diversity and employers of choice for people with disabilities.

Employers that joined NOD’s CEO Council over the past year included Colgate-Palmolive and Northrop Grumman Corporation as President’s Circle members and Cigna, General Motors Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, NiSource and PJM at the Corporate Circle level. These companies joined a group of distinguished corporate leaders that includes The Hershey Company, PNC Financial Services Group and Wal-Mart Stores, among others. ​

“NOD prides itself as being a non-profit that understands and values the contributions of corporate America,” said Gov. Tom Ridge, Chairman of NOD. “By their generosity, ongoing support and insights, our CEO Council members play a critical role in our ability to help connect people with disabilities with meaningful job opportunities. We are very much looking forward to working with these companies in 2015 and beyond to bring recognition to their efforts to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce that includes people with disabilities.”

NOD Appoints Andy Traub as Managing Director to Lead Bridges Enterprise

Traub is Architect of AMC’s Nationally Recognized “FOCUS” Program for Hiring People with Disabilities

January 21, 2015, New York, NY – The National Organization on Disability (NOD) announced today that Andy Traub, a nationally recognized leader in disability employment, has joined NOD as its Managing Director to lead the organization’s signature Bridges enterprise, which is helping major employers to build a disability inclusive workforce. Traub has been a consultant for Bridges over the last three years and co-created NOD’s Disability Employment Tracker™, a powerful self-assessment tool for employers who seek to make disability hiring a priority in their company.

“Those who’ve worked with Andy agree that his strong foundation in corporate HR and diversity practices, combined with his knowledge of the disability landscape and passion for our mission, are the perfect blend of qualifications to ensure the success of the Bridges enterprise,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “As we look ahead to 2015, Andy will be a significant asset in helping to grow and expand NOD’s brand and Bridges services to employers. We’re so thrilled to have him be a part of our future.”

Traub previously served AMC Theaters as Director of Recruitment, creating and executing the nationally recognized “FOCUS” program for hiring people with disabilities. A certified Senior Professional in Human Resources, Traub has worked with national brands such as Google, Best Buy, Walgreens and Sodexo, leading various projects and disability employment hiring initiatives. In 2012, Traub presented to White House staff on hiring individuals with autism.

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