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CEO MESSAGE

April 2022

As The Able Trust works to expand disability employment in Florida, we recognize questions and concerns employers may have about hiring a person with a disability. Frequently listed as a top concern is the potential cost of accommodations.


In a recent newsletter, we included a short poll asking what readers thought the one-time median cost was for an accommodation for an employee with a disability. The majority of responses correctly indicated the one-time cost to be $500.

And according to the Job Accommodation Network, the benefits employers reported they received from making workplace accommodations far outweigh the associated costs.


Employers reported providing accommodations that resulted in such benefits as retaining valuable employees, improving productivity and morale, reducing workers’ compensation and training costs, and improving company diversity. The employers participating in this survey reported a high percentage (56%) of accommodations cost absolutely nothing to implement ($0), while the rest of the accommodations made had a typical cost of only $500. This $500 typical cost has been consistent across the many years of the JAN survey.


We are proud to work with employers across Florida who understand the benefits of disability employment. For those businesses who are considering expanding their workforce to include persons with disabilities and have questions about accommodations or other concerns, The Able Trust is here to provide guidance and connections to a wide range of resources.


Taking the first step doesn't have to be difficult. By broadening the talent pool to include workers with disabilities, we can ensure Florida's workforce is strengthened.

 

If you're interested in learning more about the simple steps your organization can take to get connected to the workers with disabilities in your area, please contact me at Allison@abletrust.org.


I hope to connect with you soon.


Allison Chase

President & CEO

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AUTISM ACCEPTANCE MONTH

April is Autism Acceptance Month - a time set aside to celebrate and promote acceptance of autistic people and ensure they are a part of inclusive communities, workplaces and schools, and equal opportunities.


As we continue our focus on ensuring persons with disabilities are a part of Florida's workforce, we commend employers like Rita's Italian Ice for their inclusive hiring practices.


We are also pleased to see the number of communities across Florida issuing proclamations that show their support and see the value and benefit of hiring autistic Floridians.

PROJECT VENTURE FINALISTS HEAD TO ORLANDO

The Able Trust launched Project Venture for students with disabilities participating in the High School High Tech program. Project Venture is a business development competition that provides hands-on experience. During the competition, students create a plan for a business or product, in any sector of their choice.


In case you missed last week's announcement, the first round of the Project Venture competition is complete. We were pleased to have ten High School High Tech program sites participate in this year's event, and we applaud all ten teams for their hard work on developing creative business plans and product commercials.


Congratulations to the top three teams from Lake, Orange and St. Johns Counties! These three teams will go on to the final in-person competition in Orlando later this month.

 

Thank you to our distinguished panel of judges: Nisha Brice, Director, Strategic Investment & Impact, Orlando Economic Partnership; Mary Chance, President, Florida Education Foundation; Ashley Heath Dietz, President and CEO, Florida Philanthropic Network; and Alec Milton, United Property Management for sharing their time and expertise.


Stay tuned to find out which team wins the top spot and we invite you to show your support for these students by using graphics and social media posts from our Project Venture Toolkit.

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SAVE THE DATE

The Able Trust will be hosting two webinars and we want to make sure they're on your calendar:

  • May 12, 1:00 - 2:30 pm

Join The Able Trust and the Florida Nonprofit Alliance in a webinar to discuss Giving in Florida, an in-depth analysis of Floridian households' giving patterns, priorities, and attitudes. Giving in Florida is a joint project of the Florida Nonprofit Alliance, the Jessie Ball duPont Fund, and the Indiana University Lilly Family School of Philanthropy. This report is the first of its kind for the state of Florida.

  • June 7, 2:00-3:00 pm

Mark your calendars for our June webinar, VR & CSFL: Strengthening Career Pathways through Partnerships, where we will host a conversation with Michelle Dennard, President & CEO of CareerSource Florida and Brent McNeal, Director of the Florida Division of Vocational Rehabilitation.


Details and registration link coming soon.

FLORIDA DISABILITY UNEMPLOYMENT DATA

As we launch Inclusive Florida: Powered by The Able Trust, the data and research component will be vital to understanding how to continue to improve Florida's processes for employing persons with disabilities. We realize the importance of measuring what matters if we are to be successful in closing the workforce gap that exists between Floridians with disabilities and Floridians without disabilities. This is why we're excited about new data now available on the Florida Department of Economic Opportunity's Florida Insights webpage that provides estimates of unemployment, employment, and labor force participation among Floridians with a disability.

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The Inclusive Florida research will be used in combination with input from stakeholders across Florida to develop quality standards for employment and workforce development services. This multipronged strategy will be used to improve our understanding of disability employment in Florida and increase the number of Floridians with disabilities in our workforce.


We look forward to seeing you at an Inclusive Florida Listening Tour session and if you would like to be notified when we're in your area, let us know by completing this short form.

WHAT WE'RE READING

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The Future of Hybrid Work: 5 Key Questions Answered With Data


Gallup has studied the experiences, needs and future plans of more than 140,000 U.S. employees surveyed since the onset of the pandemic. These insights paint a vivid picture of how different offices will be and the unique dynamics of a highly flexible workplace.


But one thing is clear: We're not returning to the same workplace we left. And employees with the ability to work remotely are largely anticipating a hybrid office environment going forward.

Read more

Your support ensures Floridians with disabilities have opportunities to gain meaningful employment.

 

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Forward this newsletter to other colleagues, and business and community leaders who care about being more inclusive.

 

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We welcome the opportunity to share information about disability employment. Invite us to speak at your upcoming board meeting, conference or webinar.


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