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The Other Special Cause Observed in October

Written By: 
Marc Blitstein / President & CEO

A couple of weeks ago, we blogged about what is perhaps the best known cause celebrated in any month - Breast Cancer Awareness.

There’s a second outstanding cause celebrated in October – one far less well known – but JUST as important, particularly to me. October is National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month. While we do offer a cuff to benefit Autism – our participation in THIS cause is much more personal and constant.

Over a ¼ century ago, ADC hired our first developmentally disabled employee. We were a tiny firm, employing fewer than 10 and had published an ad seeking help in our production department. The ONLY candidate to show up was a young man named Glen who rode his bicycle 7 miles. He gave me a note written by his mom begging me to give him a chance.

Today we employ over a dozen developmentally disabled individuals in positions ranging from quality control to production, from shipping to maintenance. We are proud to be one of New York’s largest private employers of the developmentally disabled. We work closely with AHRC Suffolk to ensure that we provide a rewarding work experience for the participants and get a productive employee that truly makes a difference.

AHRC Suffolk supports 2000 individuals with disabilities and their families providing a range of services from education to housing. Each year around this time AHRC Suffolk, holds their most important fundraiser. We are proud to be one of their largest benefactors, raising well over $20,000 per year for the past decade.

You can help too. If you’re an employer reach out to the local agencies serving this population. Most have supported work programs that will screen qualified candidates and train them. If you’re a consumer, support firms that make this commitment to the hiring of the developmentally disabled (or any disability that moves you).

It’ll be one of the most rewarding things you’ve ever done!