For the third year, Hattie Larlham will celebrate National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month with its "I Am Able" campaign.
The purpose is to recognize the abilities of people with disabilities and what they can accomplish in the workplace. The I AM ABLE campaign also encourages local companies to explore how they can collaborate with Hattie Larlham to make their workforce more inclusive by hiring people with intellectual and developmental disabilities who are skilled, ready and able to work in their community.
"The I Am Able campaign has been a great channel to get the word out to the community about the value of an inclusive workforce," said Hattie Larlham Director of Employment Services Laura Walker. "Hattie Larlham has partnered with more than 30 companies in Northeast Ohio to provide employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
"Working as a team we determine how to best meet the needs of the employer while providing a meaningful work experience for our participants. Even if they aren’t sure what they can do, we want employers to contact us with their questions or concerns about hiring someone with disabilities."
Throughout the month of October, Hattie Larlham will use its social media platforms: Facebook, Instagram, Twitter and LinkedIn and the hashtag #IAmAble to showcase success stories of employees with disabilities and their employers. Hattie Larlham encourages supporters to be a catalyst for the community, spread the mission and message of the I Am Able campaign and help people with disabilities find jobs by sharing social media posts, and talking with their employers about the I Am Able campaign.
"Everyone can do something to help," Walker said. "Business owners can hire someone with a disability and community members can share social media posts and make a donation to support Hattie Larlham’s employment services programs. Spreading the word in whatever way is best for them, will all help to make this a successful campaign and ultimately support people with intellectual and disabilities in Ohio seeking employment."
Hattie Larlham first launched the "I Am Able" campaign in 2015. The organization has been a longtime provider of work training and vocational services to help adults with intellectual and developmental disabilities to prepare for jobs in the community. The training currently focuses on job opportunities that integrate workers into local companies. Hattie Larlham works with companies such as GOJO, Applied Medical Technologies, Essendant of Twinsburg, Winking Lizard, Steak n’ Shake and many others which all have successfully integrated people with disabilities at their work sites.
Many times, participants receive opportunities for long-term employment within these companies.
"National Disabilities Employment Awareness Month and our I Am Able campaign are great platforms for encouraging local employers to hire people with developmental disabilities," said Hattie Larlham Chief Executive Officer Stephen Colecchi. "Collaborating with local employers and harnessing the support of our community, we have made great progress in showcasing the abilities of employees with disabilities. We hope this year’s campaign will lead to more opportunities for partnerships and employment opportunities for those who are ABLE to work."
While the I Am Able campaign is social-media-driven, Hattie Larlham created a campaign website, iamable.hattielarlham.org. Here, potential employers, potential employees and community members can get detailed information about Hattie Larlham’s employment services. For additional information, contact Laura.Walker@hattielarlham.org, or 234-706-3705.