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Press Releases

RESPECTABILITY NAMED ONE OF AMERICA’S MOST INNOVATIVE ORGANIZATIONS

 

Slingshot Guide Highlights the Best of Non-Profit World

Bethesda, Maryland – RespectAbility, a new national, non-profit, non-partisan organization working to enable people with disabilities to achieve the American dream – including full inclusion in religious life, has been named one of North America’s top innovative organizations in the tenth annual Slingshot Guide. Slingshot is a creation of Jewish philanthropists and non-profit experts who are focused on results-driven non-profit organizations. The Slingshot Guide has become a go-to resource for volunteers, activists and donors looking for new opportunities and projects that are truly innovative. Groups chosen for the guide went through a deep vetting process.  RespectAbility was selected from among hundreds of finalists reviewed by 112 professionals with expertise in grant-making and communal life. Slingshot 2014-15 was released today.

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White House Recognizes Importance of Jobs for People with Disabilities – Embassy Suites Omaha is Prime Example of Progress

Washington, D.C. – Today the White House celebrated inclusive employment with a “Champions of Change” event. The official White House event recognized leaders who are making a positive impact on employment for people with disabilities.

Longtime leading institutions such as the USBLN, Kessler Foundation, government officials, Manpower, Walgreens and others were in attendance. So too were longtime leaders such as Ambassador Judy Heumann, Andy Imparato and others.

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Marking the Start of National Disability Employment Awareness Month

RespectAbility Releases New Bi-Partisan Poll and Highlights #RespectTheAbility Campaign to Focus on How Hiring Workers with Disabilities Benefits the Employer, the Employee and Society

  • 88 percent feel that as a customer it is important “that the companies you do business with do not discriminate against qualified people with disabilities.”
  • Campaign spotlights model employers that demonstrate inclusive hiring can help their bottom line and starts by featuring Ernst & Young LLP

Washington, D.C., Oct. 2 – RespectAbilityUSA and POSITIVE EXPOSURE, two non-profits working to change how people see disabilities, have joined forces to create #RespectTheAbility, a campaign to focus on how hiring people with disabilities can make organizations stronger and more successful. The campaign highlights the benefits to employers that look beyond the disability and imagine the possibility when hiring talented employees with disabilities.

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By Huge Margins Swing Voters in Key Battleground States More Likely to Vote for Candidate Committed to Jobs for People with Disabilities

By Huge Margins Swing Voters in Key Battleground States More Likely to Vote for Candidate Committed to Jobs for People with Disabilities

56% of likely voters say they, a family member, or a close friend has a disability 

NEW Bi-partisan poll of key battleground states presented by top pollsters, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg PhD of Quinlan Rosner Research and Republican Pollster Whit Ayes, PhD of Northstar Opinion.

Click here to download slide presentation. Download the full poll questionnaire here.

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Governor, I thought you’d want to see this…

Governor (and your team),

I thought you’d want to see this as it is very relevant to your work. Now that WIOA is law, every state will have to make a comprehensive, performance based plan to expand job/career opportunities for people with disabilities. We are working with a team of experts to develop a scorecard to aid you in that process. We are identifying the policies and practices that are PROVEN to work and to SAVE TAX DOLLARS. We will send that to you as soon as it is ready. Also, you are invited to a call/webinar we are doing on Oct 7th at 1:30 ET with Mathematica to go over the highlights of their outstanding work on performance metrics in this sector.

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#RespectTheAbility Campaign Launched to Focus on How Hiring Workers with Disabilities Benefits the Employer, the Employee and Society

Campaign spotlights model employers that demonstrate inclusive hiring can help their bottom line and starts by featuring Ernst & Young LLP

NEW YORK – RespectAbilityUSA and POSITIVE EXPOSURE, two non-profits working to change how people see disabilities, have joined forces to create #RespectTheAbility, a campaign to focus on how hiring people with disabilities can make organizations stronger and more successful. The campaign highlights the benefits to employers that look beyond the disability and imagine the possibility when hiring talented employees with disabilities.

The campaign kicked off on with a conference call/webinar with Lori Golden, Abilities Strategy Leader from Ernst & Young LLP (EY), on “Disabilities to Diverse Abilities: Changing the Workplace Paradigm: EY as a Case Study”. The call is was recorded and you can find it and the powerpoint that goes with it HERE.

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Young people with disabilities help senior citizens: Provide excellent workforce for the future

#RespectTheAbility Campaign: Spotlight on Project SEARCH

Young people with disabilities help senior citizens: Provide excellent workforce for the future

Project SEARCH intern Haley McCormick-Thompson lends an attentive ear to a resident at United Hebrew New Rochelle (photo credit POSITIVE EXPOSURE)

Project SEARCH intern Haley McCormick-Thompson lends an attentive ear to a resident at United Hebrew New Rochelle (photo credit POSITIVE EXPOSURE)

Haley McCormick-Thompson, 21, spends part of her day transporting senior residents of the United Hebrew from their rooms to their various activities throughout the day. The seniors’ faces light up when they see Haley coming over to help them.

“I really care about the residents,” Haley said. “I like helping them if they’re sad and I like staying late and helping. I am always willing to do extra.”

Haley is a part of Project SEARCH, a program that allows young adults with developmental disabilities to cultivate a set of skills that they can use in the workforce. At United Hebrew, located in New Rochelle, New York, Project SEARCH interns assist the residents in their daily lives. The harmony between the residents and the interns is clear. The interns take their time with each resident, making sure they are comfortable, getting them involved in cheerful sing-alongs, partaking and setting up art therapy, transporting them to and from their daily activities, and lending an attentive ear to residents who just feel like talking.

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Workers with disabilities help hospitals help patients

#RespectTheAbility Campaign: Spotlight on Project SEARCH

Workers with disabilities help hospitals help patients

Project SEARCH intern Anthony Telesford is all smiles while working in the kitchen at Montefiore New Rochelle

Project SEARCH intern Anthony Telesford is all smiles while working in the kitchen at Montefiore New Rochelle (photo credit POSITIVE EXPOSURE)

Anthony Telesford works in the kitchen of Montefiore New Rochelle hospital with his co- worker Jennifer Dacres, cleaning dishes, collecting trays, and assisting their other co-workers in other kitchen and meal preparatory tasks. The two consider themselves good friends, and can often be seen playfully cracking jokes throughout the workday. Jennifer praises Anthony’s work ethic, and speaks highly of the contributions he’s made as a fellow employee at Montefiore New Rochelle.

Anthony is a part of Project SEARCH, a program that allows young adults with developmental disabilities to cultivate a set of skills that they can use in the workforce. But Jennifer doesn’t see the program as a part of who Anthony is as a worker, or a person.

“He is a regular worker,” said Dacres. “We work hard, he works hard. We don’t baby him. He does the same exact work as we do. He is just a regular employee here, and he is a friend.”

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Youth with disabilities help make government work better

#RespectTheAbility Campaign: Spotlight on Project SEARCH

Youth with disabilities help make government work better

Former Project SEARCH intern Dalila Ochoa on the ground (photo credit POSITIVE EXPOSURE)

Former Project SEARCH intern Dalila Ochoa on the ground (photo credit POSITIVE EXPOSURE)

Several years ago during a blizzard in the northeast, the local news announced that people should stay home due to dangerous conditions on the roads. The government told its workers that only “essential” employees should report to work. One boss in the area made it to his office, and was surprised to find an employee who happens to have a disability waiting at the front doors to be let in.

When asked how and why he came out in the blizzard, the employee, who is a graduate of Project SEARCH, an apprenticeship program for young people with disabilities who want to work, responded, “Essential employees were told to come in. I am essential here.” The employee was right – their services were indeed valued and needed.

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Autistic man on path to become an organic farmer

#RespectTheAbility Campaign: Spotlight on Farming

Autistic man on path to become an organic farmer

Neal Katz shows that hard work pays off with his fully grown crops, at Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu (photo credit POSITIVE EXPOSURE)

Neal Katz shows that hard work pays off with his fully grown crops, at Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu (photo credit POSITIVE EXPOSURE)

According to the CDC, one out of every 42 boys in America is on the Autism Spectrum (ASD). Additionally, almost half (46 percent) of these children identified with ASD had average or above average intellectual ability. These children are growing up at the same time that baby boomers are aging and thus there will be expanded opportunities in the workforce. Here’s a first person message from 20-year-old Neal Katz, who has started on his career path to become an organic famer in Malibu, CA.

“I work at Camp JCA Shalom in Malibu every Thursday. I water trees, plants, and herbs in their organic garden. I pick ripe lemons, oranges, and olives. I use hay to insulate the trees in the winter. It makes me happy to work.

“I feel connected to God when I am working in nature. I see God’s work in the earth and want to feel it in my hands. When I am in the garden and working, I feel God’s call, and I answer him by doing the work he started. When God was creating the earth He created plants on the third day. I am continuing God’s work when working at JCA.

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