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The ADA: A Silver Anniversary We Should All Celebrate

Written By: 
Marc Blitstein / President & CEO
Image courtesy of the ADA Legacy project. http://www.adalegacy.com/boston-galleryImage courtesy of the ADA Legacy project. http://www.adalegacy.com/boston-gallery

July 26 marks the silver anniversary of the ADA—Americans with Disabilities Act. The act was designed to ensure equal access, accommodation, and opportunities for individuals with disabilities. While we’re not a huge fan of regulation—as it so often leads to OVER-regulation—we do believe it is a moral imperative to remove barriers—physical or otherwise—to those with disabilities. In work. And in life.

We’re proud to say we’ve done our share.

Since 1987—before the ADA was born—we’ve made it part of our mission to employ the developmentally disabled. Today, we are one of NY’s leading private for-profit employers of intellectually disabled individuals. Whether it be Gracemarie, a production worker with us 27 years to our most recent DD hire, Anthony in shipping, we don’t think of them as disabled—we think of them as family.

We couldn’t have done this alone. Early on, we partnered with the AHRC (Suffolk chapter), an agency dedicated to providing life services to individuals with developmental disabilities and their families. Their supported work program screened for qualified candidates and provided on the job training and periodic coaching to ensure the success of those we hired. And what a success it has been. Today we have 12 developmentally disabled individuals in our employ—in quality control, production, shipping and maintenance—with a combined 160+ years of service to the firm.

We encourage all companies large and small, regardless of the industry, to look at their employment needs and make the effort to employ these amazing individuals wherever they can. If you’d like more information on how your firm can participate, feel free to email me—mblitstein@adctoday.com.