Inspire to Be Inclusive

By: Dr. Richard Pimentel, Amplify! Keynote Speaker, Corporate and Motivational Speaker, Comedian, Author

CLICK HERE to register for Amplify today! Seating is limited!

In 1969 I came home to Portland with a significant hearing loss and a traumatic brain injury from combat in Vietnam. My plan had been to serve my country and use the GI Bill to study speech communication under Dr. Ben Padrow at Portland State. In 1969 the VA rehabilitation department had a list of the jobs veterans with my disabilities could do. Professional public speaker was not on that list. I had been excluded not because of who I was, but because of the disability I had. I was refused my educational plan “for my own good.” There is a name for this decision model. It is called exclusion.

I went to see Dr. Padrow to tell him I wouldn’t be able to study under him. He told me, he saw no evidence that I still couldn’t achieve my dreams. He only saw evidence of my being willing to give up on them.

Dr.  Padrow rejected the philosophy of exclusion. Instead he embraced inclusion. Exclusion meant that I would have to achieve my goal alone. Inclusion meant that we would achieve it together. For me, it made all the difference in the world.

Inclusion is the foundation of every aspect of successful organizations. The best practice companies know it by another name “teamwork.”

Historically people with physical and intellectual disabilities have been placed into jobs based using exclusion, not inclusion, considering only the jobs that are assumed to be consistent with their disability. This often means that they are not hired for the jobs that are right for them only the ones that are left. Too often there are few if any left.

By using your organization’s commitment to teamwork, inclusion means that you focus on the person with the disability rather than only on the person’s disability. Your company focuses not only on what they can do to be successful,  but also what your managers, supervisors and team can do as well.

Inclusion is not just a program to “persuade” you to hire persons with disabilities. It is the first step to bringing training and guidance to make your management team full partners in your employee’s success and making your employees full partners in yours.

It will make all the difference in the world not only for your employees but for you as well.

What Employers Are Saying About Amplify!

By: Cindy Bahl, Business Development Manager & Amplify! Event Coordinator, Dirkse Counseling & Consulting, Inc.

Last week I wrote about why I think employers should attend Amplify! on Thursday, October 19th.  But why take my advice?  Why not read about what other employers have to say?

I recently had the opportunity to interview three employers who were willing to go on camera and share their “why” and what they hoped to achieve by attending Amplify!  Here are some excerpts from the outstanding video now in production thanks to our friend Elie Bulka at One Click Studio (I just couldn’t wait to share!)

Meet Chris Venneman, Owner of Dryer Vent Wizard; a relatively new company, looking forward to growth and hiring more people for his service-based team who of course, cleans, installs and repairs dryer vents.  Chris shared “I’m interested in attending the Amplify Success! Event in October so that I can find out more about Oregon Employment First and employment opportunities for people with disabilities in our community.”  Perfect reason Chris!

Mark Spiegelberg, Business Development Manager for The Barbers and 10 of the Washington County franchise locations said, “There’s such a great base of people who want to work in the community and I just want to help get the word out because I’ve seen what it does in our business and I really want to encourage other businesses to do the same.”  Mark and his team have done just that by hiring Sign Holders to help bring attention and awareness to their business.  The Barbers really are cutting edge!

Leupold and Stevens is a local employer that you may not have heard about but they are right in the heart of Beaverton; manufacturing military and outdoor recreational equipment.  Sr. Consultant in Employee Relations, Jennifer Hunstman shared “I want to learn more about these work place assessments where we can figure out what jobs we have that match individuals with disabilities skill sets.  This helps us find qualified team members that are part of a largely untapped labor pool out there.”

There you have it . . . Employers giving you their reasons why you need to attend Amplify!  Register Today!

Empower Your Workforce, Affirm Abilities, Amplify Success!

Empower Your Workforce
Affirm Abilities
Amplify Success!