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Partner Spotlight: Think Ability Wisconsin

Looking back on the impact of our employees and product offerings in 2023

With each calendar year that passes at IBVI, it’s easy to get caught up in the excitement of what’s to come—but it’s also important to not lose sight of the previous year’s accomplishments. It’s also a time to see the impact of our mission, knowing that we’re making a difference for our employees and customers. 2023 was a year filled with new hires, new partnerships and so much gratitude for our employees, customers and partners.

Profiling our prolific employees

With 2023 having come to a close, IBVI is incredibly proud of the positive impact we’ve made over the last year. First and foremost we want to recognize our passionat

For years, IBVI has made it a priority to try and create a better and brighter future for the blind and visually impaired community. While our company is committed to uplifting our blind and visually impaired employees, we realize it requires collaboration with other agencies and partners to boost the entire community. By working together, sharing resources, and amplifying each other’s voices, we know we can make positive change in southeast Wisconsin and across the entire state.

To kick off the new year, we want to bring attention to a brand new state-wide campaign seeking to close the disability employment gap by providing resources for self-advocates, families and employers.

Think Ability Wisconsin

Think Ability Wisconsin is a new statewide awareness campaign established to create employment and career opportunities for workers with disabilities, considering 21.3% of all people with disabilities are unemployed. By empowering job seeking self-advocates, their friends, family or future employers with the necessary tools for success, Think Ability Wisconsin is eager to spark change in 2024.

The campaign was awarded funding through a Workforce Innovation Grant from the Wisconsin Department of Workforce Development and the Wisconsin Economic Development Corporation, an American Rescue Plan Act-funded investment announced by Governor Tony Evers.

By offering online training courses, informational resources and individualized assistance, this campaign is designed to answer any and all questions about employment for people with disabilities, and show both potential employers and employees how attainable and rewarding employment can be.

Who can benefit from Think Ability Wisconsin:

  • Self-advocates, their friends, or family who are seeking employment or workplace resources to elevate their abilities
  • Employers who are looking to make their workplace more accessible for current and future employees
  • Educators and families of individuals who are preparing to transition from education to employment and adult life.
  • Businesses and government agencies who are looking for training, information and resources

A recent study found there are 2.4 open positions for every one job seeker. Another recent study shows that the employment-population ratio for people with a disability ages 16 to 64 is 31.4 percent, compared to 72.5 percent for people without a disability in the same age group. Think Ability Wisconsin insists that a willingness from employers is the first step toward increased employment for people with disabilities across Wisconsin.

“I speak for myself and on behalf of the entire IBVI organization when I say that the benefits of hiring blind, visually impaired, or disabled workers are unlimited,” said CJ Lange. “I can’t speak highly enough of how skilled, resilient and inspiring our workers who have disabilities are, but in order to raise disability employment, the onus needs to be put on employers to create equal opportunities. At IBVI we do everything we can to empower our employees, so it’s great to see another Wisconsin organization doing what they can to provide advice, resources and assistance for employers and employees.”

How Think Ability Wisconsin can help:

  • The campaign’s simple and easy-to-navigate website features interactive content, statistics, information, resources, and training courses for job seekers, their friends and family, businesses, employers, educators and government agencies
  • Anyone can connect with Think Ability Navigators (the campaign’s helpful disability resource experts), through the site’s responsive call center—accessible via phone or email—for access to free, personalized, and confidential resources and support, available weekdays from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. CST.
  • Later in 2024, the campaign website will include access to job boards, easy-to-use toolkits, and a chat function, which will all be available at a later date.

Be sure to visit the Think Ability Wisconsin website to learn more about this brand new campaign that can benefit you, a family member, your workplace or your community. You can also learn about IBVI’s other valued partners on our website. Together we all can make a difference in supporting disability employment.


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