What Can YOU Do?


Today kickoffs off National Disability Employment Awareness Month.

When it comes to doing business, including people with disabilities—in recruitment, retention and advancement—offers the workplace a competitive edge. People with disabilities are known to be experienced problem solvers with a proven ability to adapt. What’s more, they mirror an important and increasingly expanding customer base.

The workplace has much to gain by fostering an environment that’s open to everyone. Such universal thinking not only helps recruit skilled employees, but also enhances corporate continuity efforts by helping employers retain the talents of an aging workforce.

A new public outreach campaign is showing people in the workplace that it pays to foster an inclusive and flexible work culture that considers the needs of all employees – including employees with disabilities. The Campaign for Disability Employment, has launched the What Can YOU Do? campaign. Through this effort, the workforce and others are being encouraged to recognize the value and talent that people with disabilities bring to the workplace, as well as the dividend to be realized by fully including people with disabilities – because at work, it’s what people can do that matters.

It’s easy for every workplace to participate in the What Can YOU Do? Campaign and drive positive change. The Campaign’s Web site, www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org, offers people the chance to learn, engage in disability employment efforts, and share their employment experiences. The section designed for employers invites users to express their commitment to an inclusive workplace and to share disability employment, and other, best practices.

The site also features grassroots tools and tangible ideas for supporting the Campaign’s goals, as well as video public service announcements (PSAs) that challenge assumptions about people with disabilities and employment. Included in the video library is the Campaign’s flagship “I Can” PSA, intended for nationwide television broadcast, and “Meet Sue,” winner of the What Can YOU Do? Video Contest, which invited aspiring filmmakers to produce their own videos in support of the Campaign’s goals.

What Can YOU Do? October in National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Share your stories. For more information, visit www.whatcanyoudocampaign.org.

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Jenyfer Johnson

Great blog! I had a very difficult time when I was going through chemo/radiation trying to get my organization to agree to telework by approaching it as a disability. They kept arguing that all I needed to do was submit a telework agreement and that cancer was not a real disability. I showed them the Americans with Disabilities Act regulations and by the time they could come up with the barest of anything…I was done with my treatments and had exhausted all my leave.

I’ve now asked to sit on our Union Panel that will be renegotiating our Union contract to ensure that Disability rights are covered in the contract. I don’t want someone else to have to go through what I did.