A Model of Inclusion: Now Put It to Work

By Ruderman Family Family Disabilities Advisor Jo Ann Simons, CEO Cardinal Cushing Centers

Much praise has been heaped on to Nordstrom’s and Target for their use of an adorable 6-year-old boy with Down syndrome in their ads and I want to add to the pile of attention they are receiving.

This comes on the heels of Toys ‘R’ Us and other retailers using children with disabilities in specifically designed catalogues targeting the special needs population, so it demonstrates great movement towards acceptance and increasing public awareness of a segment of our population that too often goes unnoticed.

I have waited too long.

In 1981, my adorable and arguably the cutest child with Down syndrome, was used in the print catalogue of my father’s family business-Simons Uniform Company, as a model for imprinted T-shirts.

I knew then that he belonged but, sadly it seems, it took over a quarter of a century for the big names to catch up with my family.

Now, that we have crashed through another ceiling of acceptance, my question to Nordstom’s and Target is this:  What are your hiring practices towards persons with disabilities? What percentage of your workforce are people with disabilities?  How many of them hold benefited positions? Are any of them in the executive office?

Qualified people with disabilities should not have another quarter of century to wait for these answers.

— Jo Ann Simons



Filed under Disabilities rights, Disabilities Trends, General News, In the Media, Uncategorized

4 responses to “A Model of Inclusion: Now Put It to Work

  1. julie krasker

    Well said Jo Ann Simons, it took to long.

  2. Sharon

    I work for an organization which is composed of companies committed to the hiring of people with disabilities. We are about competitive employment and I agree with you when you say it is about time. Attitudes need to change at all levels from a parent’s and school’s expectations for a child with a disability to the attitude of an employer as he or she fills positions within their organzation. Thanks for asking the right question

    • Really? My deaf son has a degree in business from NYU and cant get a job! is he too smart? Even educated fully functioning individuals with disabilities can’t get jobs. Employers will alsways choose a hearing person over my son. If you r company is committed to hiring, let me know who they are and he will apply.

      Sarina Roffe

  3. Great point. Another question is if employees of these companies experience undue discrimination after having children with disabilities.

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