Delivering Jobs, Best Buddies, Special Olympics, Autism Speaks
(Photo courtesy of Entertainment Industry Foundation)

Autism Speaks, Special Olympics, Best Buddies Launch Campaign to Promote Disability Inclusion

Autism Speaks, Special Olympics and Best Buddies have joined forces to launch a new campaign which seeks to not only educate the nation about the low rates of employment for people with disabilities but also promote hiring people with disabilities.

The primary object of Delivering Jobs is to “create pathways to one million employment and leadership opportunities for people with autism, Down syndrome, cerebral palsy and other intellectual and developmental differences by 2025,” according to a press release about the campaign.

The Delivering Jobs campaign also will look to equip job seekers with the tools they need to compete in the professional world. This project’s backers point to a study conducted by the Institute for Corporate Productivity and Best Buddies International, which claimed that it is vital to integrate disability inclusion into a company’s broader diversity agenda. “Without it, all claims of having an inclusive culture ring hollow,” according to the study’s executive statement.

Related Article: How Northwest Center Gets Companies to Realize Hiring People with Disabilities Works

The study highlighted the importance of ensuring all social media content is easily accessible and relevant to people with disabilities. It is also recommended that disability inclusion awareness be woven into a firm’s leadership development program. The organizations are challenging businesses to commit to hiring people with disabilities for at least 1% of their employment and leadership opportunities.

Other recommended actions laid out by the study include appointing a Chief Accessibility Officer (CAO), leveraging the ideas that are created by employees with disabilities and working with a disability ERG to ensure products and services are fully accessible.

The three nonprofits have put together an aggressive marketing plan for this campaign, in conjunction with the Entertainment Industry Foundation, a philanthropic organization. A public service announcement, which was produced by an inclusive crew, was published online and will appear on digital screens in Times Square.

“The organizations involved in Delivering Jobs have deep expertise preparing people with autism, intellectual and/or developmental differences for success in the workplace. Now is the time for the private sector to do their part,” Special Olympics CEO Mary Davis said in a statement. “The next generation to join the workforce is expecting inclusion, and Delivering Jobs is here to help eliminate biases and create pathways to employment for this overlooked population.”

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