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Business Honored for Commitment to Hire Those With Disabilities

October 4th, 2018 by Jake Stofan
October is National Disability Employment Awareness month and Florida businesses that have shown strong commitments to hiring people with disabilities were honored Thursday morning in the state’s capital.
Florida’s economy is booming.
“Private sector businesses including many of those that are here today have created over 1.6 million new jobs,” said Executive Director of the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity, Cissy Proctor.
A stronger economy means more opportunities for all Floridians, including those with disabilities.
“I know it’s important for grownups to work and earn money. I am grateful to have this job,” said Connor Yeatts, who works at Cayer Behavioral Group, despite suffering from Williams Syndrome.
This year, 12 Florida businesses were awarded Exceptional Employer Awards by the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Blind Services and Vocational Rehabilitation  for their outstanding efforts and commitment to providing employment opportunities for people with disabilities.
“Getting people employed and getting them self sufficient is one of the best things we can do,” said Barbara Palmer, Director of the Florida Agency for Persons With Disabilities.
A common theme shared among the award winners: Employers of those with special needs benefit just as much as the employees.
Award winner Kiersten Lee runs Paisley Cafe in Tallahassee.
She says after hiring Kevin Graham who has autism, it changed her life forever, inspiring her, with the help of Kevin, to create the Autism Cooks Foundation.
“It’s been amazing. It helps people to cook. It helps them to find jobs like me,” said Graham.
It’s an example of how creating an opportunity for one, can lead to many more.
“Kevin is able to be an example and a leader in the community for disabilities in the workplace,” said Lee.
Those honored at the ceremony say more than anything, they hope the example they set will inspire other businesses to hire persons with disabilities as well.
If you own a business and want to find out more about hiring people with disabilities click this link.

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