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Look for Ability. Not Disability.

Celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The word disability is defined only by how you look at it. As we celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), we’re reminded of that—that disability is just a word, and behind it there are thousands of capable people who are ready and willing to work.

That’s what NDEAM is all about. Acknowledged by the U.S. Department of Labor, the movement aims to ensure America’s workplaces include and accommodate people with disabilities by increasing access to opportunity—especially during our economic recovery.

At Industries for the Blind and Visually Impaired (IBVI), we wholeheartedly embrace it.


A new point of view
Did you know that more than 70 percent of blind and visually impaired people are unemployed? It’s a staggering number. But at IBVI, we’re changing it.

Currently, more than 75% of our employees are blind or visually impaired. As part of our mission to create gainful employment that brings new purpose to their lives, we intend to keep that number growing. Every year, we continue to launch national recruitment efforts and statewide employment awareness campaigns in Wisconsin. Our facilities are also equipped with the latest accessibility technology and software, which helps us further expand our career offerings and opportunities.


Looking beyond disabilities
As we celebrate NDEAM this October, we’re also reminded of something else that’s just as important to us at IBVI—our employees. When you meet them up close, you’ll not only be amazed by the extraordinary things they’re capable of, you’ll be captivated by their remarkable stories of triumph, perseverance, and courage. For Emily Merced, it’s surviving hurricane Maria and starting over more than 2,000 miles away with new-found independence. For Jeff Spantikow, it’s the ability to raise a family, put his kids through college, and achieve the career he always wanted.


Breaking down barriers
At IBVI, we are vocal about celebrating all of our employees because they make us who we are. By celebrating them, it brings a sense of awareness that helps break down barriers for both the sighted and the blind and visually impaired in our local communities. But it also does something else—inspire.

Read some of the compelling employee stories from our website and you’ll see why. Because empowering those who inspire us is what makes National Disability Employment Awareness Month so important.


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