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An interesting scene on last night’s episode of Mad Men, which is set in the 1960s. A top executive at the Sterling Cooper ad agency — known as a “pure account man” — got his foot run over by (a drunk secretary on) a John Deere lawn mower. After he is rushed to the hospital, the doctors must amputate his foot. So the big wigs at the agency arrive at the hospital, and big wig #1 says, “He was a great account man. A prodigy. He could talk a Scotsman out of a penny.” Then big wig #2 says, “Now thats all over.” Don Draper tries to defend the amputee, but there’s really no discussion. Says big wig #2: “The man is missing a foot. How is he going to work? He can’t walk.” And big wig #1 pipes up, “The doctor said he’d never golf again.” Both big wigs agree ... keep reading »
A group of disability organizations has launched the Campaign for Disability Employment to promote the hiring of people with disabilities. Actor Robert David Hall, who plays a coroner on C.S.I. and is a paraplegic, kicked off the campaign with a keynote speech at the U.S. Business Leadership Network conference in Washington, D.C. “I’m an actor, and while there are more sensible pursuits, it is our shared experience as people with disabilities that must and can bring us together.” Hall says. All people with disabilities want to work, “but assumptions can be killers” that inhibit this group from getting jobs, he says. The campaign centers around the theme “What can You do?” and seeks to reinforce that all people with disabilities want to work and that their talents will have a positive impact on businesses. Even so, in the weakened economy, people with disabilities are more likely to take a hit. ... keep reading »
Sometimes it takes a wake-up call to realize the right thing to do. That’s what happened to Randy Lewis, senior vice president of distribution and logistics for Walgreens. When he found out his son had autism, “it was a slap in the face,” he said. Having a child with a disability has changed Lewis’ perspective on the employment landscape for people with disabilities. “If my son is like 95 percent of the other kids out there with autism, he’ll never be offered a job.,” he says. Walgreen’s highest producing distribution center in the U.S. is in Anderson, S.C. In it, 40 percent of the 700 people have a disability such as cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, autism and traumatic brain injury. We knew it would have to train differently, Lewis says. “They say once you’ve seen one person with a disability, you’ve seen one person with a disability. Everyone ... keep reading »

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