The National Organization on Disability

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NOD and The National Association of Colleges and Employers (NACE) developed a series of articles addressing the needs of both students with disabilities and employers.


Starbucks Largest Roasting Plant Offers Job Training for People with Disabilities

Image of Starbucks logo When Carol Glazer visited Starbucks headquarters in Seattle last fall to meet graduates from a unique training program at the company’s roasting plant in Carson City, Nevada, she wasn’t surprised to see pride in the faces of those who’d completed the course. What caught her off guard was the gratification she saw in the faces of everyone who encountered the grads.

Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability since 2008, has been pushing for allies in its efforts to address a severe shortage of work opportunities for people with disabilities. In Starbucks, she believes she’s found a company that appreciates the payoff that comes with employing workers with disabilities.

“Starbucks is the beacon for others in corporate America,” she said. “There are a few companies that are pioneers in this field and Starbucks is one of them. Companies are beginning to understand that all the problem-solving skills and tenacity and persistence it takes to navigate a world that wasn’t built for you are terrific assets.”

Starbucks Program Helps Train Individuals with Disabilities

Image of York Daily Record logo The grads of the program, which Starbucks started about a year and a half ago in Nevada, were recognized Monday during an event celebrating Starbucks 20th anniversary in York. Those participating went through six weeks of training to give them experience in work like shipping and packaging. Instructors for the York program were provided by Crispus Attucks.

Carol Glazer, president of the National Organization on Disability, told the crowd that there are 30 million working-age individuals with disabilities and only 20 percent are working — a statistic that hasn’t changed since the end of World War II, she said.

“It’s not only a historic injustice, it’s a terrible waste of a huge amount of talent that could be enriching the American workforce,” she said.

Starbucks Plant Celebrates 20 Years, Launches Program for People with Disabilities

Image of Starbucks logo Together with the Pennsylvania Department of Labor & Industry’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, National Organization on Disability and Crispus Attucks Association, Starbucks Inclusion Academy Program Provides Individuals with Disabilities an Opportunity to Gain Work Experience at its Roasting Plant in York, Pennsylvania

“With more than 56 million Americans living with some form of disability, we need more companies to recognize the untapped pipeline of talent available to corporate America,” said Carol Glazer, President of the National Organization on Disability. “By collaborating on strategic initiatives like the Starbucks Inclusion Academy, NOD is taking its 30-year record of innovation to help launch effective disability employment initiatives. I applaud Starbucks for finding an innovative way to promote disability inclusion in the workplace.”

Employers Take Note: People with Autism Ideally Suited to Fill Critical STEM Jobs

Image of HuffingtonPost LogoHUFFINGTON POST BLOG By CAROL GLAZER, President, National Organization on Disability

Gov. Ridge and I agree one thing companies need to do now is to rethink their hiring strategies to find skilled talent in technology. America is already lagging when it comes to STEM-skilled workers. The U.S. will have more than 1.2 million job openings in STEM - or science, technology, engineering and math - fields by 2018. And by 2020, the McKinsey Global Institute reports there will be a shortage of 95 million skilled workers.

Microsoft and SAP are two companies that are filling this STEM talent gap by hiring individuals with autism. Why? They’ve discovered that these individuals possess in-demand skills in STEM fields, especially jobs that require extreme attention to detail or repetitive tasks, like quality checking software or finding anomalies in data. Remember the character made famous by Dustin Hoffman in the film, Rain Man, who had a remarkable ability to remember numerical sequences? Those same skills can be used to help companies fill critical STEM vacancies.

GOP Should Lead Again on Disability Rights

Image of Sacramento Bee logoThe United Nations estimates that more than 1 billion people live with disabilities worldwide. In many places, they face discrimination, lack of accommodation and even a disregard for their right to exist.

The United Nations General Assembly in 2006 adopted the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. Its goal is to “promote, protect and ensure the full and equal enjoyment of all human rights and fundamental freedoms by all persons with disabilities, and to promote respect for their inherent dignity.”​

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CEO COUNCIL FORUM: Bridging the Gap | Recruiting and Developing Professional Talent Disabilities
Friday, October 16, 2015

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Press Releases

President George H.W. Bush Calls Americans with Disabilities Act One of His ‘Proudest Achievements’

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.

NOD Announces Expanded Advisory Services to Connect Corporate America with New Talent

$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.

National Organization on Disability Welcomes Jeff Kellan to Board of Directors

Toys“R”Us, Inc. Executive Joins Distinguished Board

Image of Toys 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.

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