News & Events
Every day, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) works toward achieving its mission to expand the participation and contribution of America’s 56 million men, women and children with disabilities in all aspects of life. Learn more about our recent progress toward this goal.
When it comes to talking about disability, we don’t.
Nearly one in five Americans reports living with a disability, yet our silence prevents us from aiding in destigmatization, fair access and equal opportunity.
Along with major forms of social discrimination, such as denying employment to people with disabilities or using the R-word, there are seemingly little things able-bodied people do every day that aren’t so inclusive. And those little things need to change.
Here are six things you should think about in order to be a stronger ally to disability communities.
Former Pennsylvania Gov. and NOD’s Chairman Tom Ridge and CNN’s Michael Smerconish discuss President George H.W. Bush and the Americans with Disabilities Act, which celebrates its 25th Anniversary this week.
HUFFINGTON POST BLOG By CAROL GLAZER, President, National Organization on Disability
This week many are celebrating the unprecedented improvements that the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) has brought to the quality of life for millions of people with disabilities in the 25 years since it was signed into law on July 26, 1990. But the work of guaranteeing access to the American dream is far from over.
When it was signed into law by President George H.W. Bush amid an overwhelming show of bipartisan support, the ADA promised to enable people with disabilities access to go to school, to church, to the theater and to work. Like the Civil Rights Act on which it was modeled, the ADA viewed the exclusion of people with disabilities from civic life and the workforce as discrimination. Keeping people with disabilities from the mainstream was no longer justifiable. When President Bush signed the ADA, he noted its significance as a civil rights act, meant to “ensure that all should have the opportunity to blend fully and equally into the rich mosaic of the American mainstream.” (Click here to watch how President Bush feels about his legacy, 25 years later.)
The labor-force participation rate in the United States is at its lowest point in almost 30 years (62.9%) and a global shortage of 95 million workers within the next five years is predicted.
Yet a huge segment of the population is dramatically underemployed – people with disabilities…. Why, when there is such a growing need for workers, is this population so underutilized?
Kassandra and Nicole are twins.They have cerebral palsy and use wheelchairs to get around. They are two of more than 3,000 students who are graduating from Daytona State College this spring. It’s an accomplishment more and more people with disabilities are achieving.
In Florida, the number of graduates with disabilities has grown from 2,680 in the 2009-2010 school year to 3,681 in the 2013-2014 school year, according to data provided by the Florida College System.
The statewide trend mirrors the trend nationally, said Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability. She
believes the increase is due to the creation and constant improvement of the special education system in K-12 schools. More of these students are also graduating from high school, at only an 8 percent lower rate than students without disabilities.
On a panel discussing Kroger’s new disabled worker program, Howard Green, deputy director, corporate programs for the National Organization on Disability, told an audience at the Warehouse Education and Research Council (WERC) annual conference in Orlando last week that at one Walgreens distribution center in Connecticut, more than 50% of the workers are disabled and - get this - there are some 40 deaf fork truck drivers….
A single executive in Kroger’s mid-south or Nashville region heard about these types of program, and challenged managers in the region to see if such a program could be launched, starting with a single major distribution center in Cleveland, TN. This facility was selected in part because at times Kroger has had recruitment challenges there, moving to a high level of case picking automation to compensate for a challenging local labor pool.
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is making a corporate connection.
Headed in a new direction of corporate services, the organization’s endeavors are supported by a $1 million lead corporate grant from the Prudential Foundation….
“We’re changing a program that’s been funded by mainly philanthropy for the past five years, in which NOD has worked with a dozen Fortune 1,000 companies and we’ve helped them to hire more people with disabilities and better support those already in the workforce,” NOD President Carol Glazer told DiversityInc.
Recent rule changes by the U.S. Labor Department require nearly 50,000 companies who do business with the federal government to create a goal of having seven percent of their workforce comprised of people with disabilities, according to Glazer.
“Propelled by that, we’re taking [Corporate Services] and changing it into a social enterprise,” she said.
Grant will support a new social enterprise that addresses the disability employment gap by preparing people with disabilities for specific occupations and providing additional support services
The grant, provided through The Prudential Foundation, will help cover the start-up costs for Bridges to a Better Workforce, a new social enterprise launched by NOD to help prepare job seekers with disabilities for specific occupations and provide support services to ensure their success in the workplace. NOD anticipates that Bridges to a Better Workforce will serve more than 2,000 job seekers with disabilities by 2019.
“At Prudential, we are committed to using our resources to help underserved individuals achieve financial security,” said Lata Reddy, vice president of corporate social responsibility and president of The Prudential Foundation. “This grant will help people with disabilities, including veterans, prepare for and secure the high-quality job opportunities they need to strengthen their long-term economic outlook.”
ONLINE COURSE: Employing People with Disabilities - A Business Perspective
Monday, August 3, 2015 - Monday, August 31, 2015 12:00pm EDT
WEBINAR: Year Three of the Disability Employment Tracker
Friday, September 11, 2015 12:00pm EDT
WEBINAR: New Data on the Job Search Experience of Candidates with Disabilities
Wednesday, September 16, 2015 1:00pm EDT
DIVERSITYINC WEBINAR: Cultural Competence for National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Tuesday, October 6, 2015 2:00pm EDT
CEO COUNCIL FORUM: Bridging the Gap | Recruiting and Developing Professional Talent Disabilities
Friday, October 16, 2015 9:30am EDT
July 20, 2015, New York, NY – In anticipation of the 25th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) on July 26, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) is releasing a new video featuring a rare and recent interview with President George H.W. Bush, who signed the ADA into law in July 1990. For 25 years, the ADA has removed barriers and empowered people, promoting equality for Americans with disabilities. In the video, hosted by NOD Chairman Tom Ridge, the first U.S. Secretary of Homeland Security, President Bush, NOD’s Honorary Chairman, calls the ADA among his ‘proudest achievements’ as President of the United States.
$1 Million Lead Corporate Grant from Prudential Foundation Kick-Starts New Enterprise Designed to Put More Americans with Disabilities to Work
April 24, 2015, New York, NY – National Organization on Disability (NOD) President Carol Glazer announced an exciting new direction for a non-profit that has for more than 30 years been a leader in advancing opportunities for Americans with all kinds of disabilities. During last night’s DiversityInc awards ceremony in downtown Manhattan, honoring the Top 10 Companies for People with Disabilities, Glazer unveiled NOD’s expanded Corporate Services – a best-in-class suite of advisory services now available to companies across the country who recognize that hiring people with disabilities is good business.
Toys“R”Us, Inc. Executive Joins Distinguished Board
February 26, 2015, New York, NY – The National Organization on Disability today announced that Jeff Kellan, VP, Supply Chain Operations, Toys“R”Us, Inc. has been elected to its Board of Directors. The unanimous vote came at NOD’s Board of Directors meeting yesterday afternoon.
“We are pleased to welcome Jeff, a distinguished and accomplished professional, to NOD’s board,” said Gov. Tom Ridge, Chairman of NOD. “Jeff offers unique and personal experiences in disability employment. We are delighted to bring his expertise and perspective to the board, and we thank him for his commitment and continued service to the disability community.”
At Toys“R”Us, Inc., Kellan is responsible for managing global transportation, retail and e-commerce distribution, and oversees how the company’s merchandise is acquired, transported and stored across the supply chain. He also oversees U.S. distribution and fulfillment.
CEO Council – Employers of Choice for People with Disabilities – Set for Further Growth in 2015
February 11, 2015, New York, NY – The National Organization on Disability has formally announced the companies who joined its CEO Council over the past year. The NOD CEO Council is a body of employers who have distinguished themselves as leaders in diversity and employers of choice for people with disabilities.
Employers that joined NOD’s CEO Council over the past year included Colgate-Palmolive and Northrop Grumman Corporation as President’s Circle members and Cigna, General Motors Foundation, JPMorgan Chase, Morgan Stanley, NiSource and PJM at the Corporate Circle level. These companies joined a group of distinguished corporate leaders that includes The Hershey Company, PNC Financial Services Group and Wal-Mart Stores, among others.
“NOD prides itself as being a non-profit that understands and values the contributions of corporate America,” said Gov. Tom Ridge, Chairman of NOD. “By their generosity, ongoing support and insights, our CEO Council members play a critical role in our ability to help connect people with disabilities with meaningful job opportunities. We are very much looking forward to working with these companies in 2015 and beyond to bring recognition to their efforts to promote a diverse and inclusive workforce that includes people with disabilities.”