FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Steve Aaron
Campaign Urges Corporate America to ‘Look Closer’ and Rethink Hiring Practices
NEW YORK (February 15, 2019) - The National Organization on Disability (NOD) and the New York City Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) today announced a partnership that will allow NOD’s new Look Closer public-awareness campaign to be featured in New York City taxi cabs and on 50 bus shelters across the city. As part of the partnership, PSAs featuring messages that urge U.S. employers and job recruiters to think differently about people with disabilities when they seek to add new talent are running on New York City Public Access and Taxi TV.
“Led by the outstanding work of Commissioner Victor Calise, MOPD has long been a proponent of employment for the city’s disabled population,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “We are grateful to MOPD for helping us to extend the message of the Look Closer campaign to thousands of New York commuters and visitors so that we can expose them to this important message.”
Nine companies with a combined U.S. workforce of more than one million people and annual revenues upwards of $250 billion have joined forces with NOD to support this movement, and pledged their commitments to disability inclusion. They include: Anthem Inc., ConantLeadership, DiversityInc., EY, The Hershey Company, Prudential Financial, PwC, Spectrum and UPS. And thanks to the generosity of Morgan Stanley, whose “Lights on Broadway” initiative provides donated ad space to nonprofits, the Look Closer campaign was featured prominently in Times Square during October for National Disability Employment Awareness Month.
“It’s a privilege to work with the National Organization on Disability to help amplify their Look Closer campaign,” said NYC Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities Commissioner Victor Calise. “It’s good business to hire people with disabilities since they are our largest untapped talent pool. In a society that unfortunately still has barriers to full inclusion, people with disabilities have often become accustomed to working harder to reach their goals. We hope this campaign will lead to more business owners looking to diversify their workplace by employing more people with disabilities.”
In addition to supporting the Look Closer campaign, MOPD has established NYC: ATWORK, the first business driven, public-private partnership for employment for New Yorkers with disabilities. This collaboration with business, colleges, vocational rehabilitation and non-profits agencies and city government is connecting NYC: ATWORK participants who are unemployed or underemployed to meaningful, living wage jobs across the city’s five boroughs.
Look Closer PSAs ran on donated space within NYC taxicabs during the busy holiday season in December 2018 and will resume next week. The bus shelter PSAs will run from February 11 through March 11 at 50 locations citywide.
Today’s strong economy is forcing employers to consider talent that they might previously have overlooked, including individuals with disabilities. It is in this context that Look Closer urges hiring and recruiting managers to seriously consider this largely untapped talent pool, highlighting the oft-unrecognized abilities and workplace contributions of unique individuals across the country. In a time of near-full employment, 80% of Americans with disabilities should not be out of work.
To learn more about what employers and the general public can do to increase employment for people with disabilities, including downloadable resources, visit www.NOD.org/lookcloser. Visitors to the website also can find more details about the campaign’s partner companies and read inspiring employee stories.
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 80-percent of working age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. To achieve this goal, NOD offers a suite of employment solutions, tailored to meet leading companies’ workforce needs. NOD has helped some of the world’s most recognized brands be more competitive in today’s global economy by building or enriching their disability inclusion programs. For more information about NOD and how its professional services, Corporate Leadership Council and Disability Employment Tracker™ can help your business, visit www.NOD.org.
About the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD)
Operating since 1973, the Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) is the liaison between New York City government and the disability community. In partnership with all City offices and agencies, MOPD consistently ensures that the rights and concerns of the disability community are included in all City initiatives and that City programs and policies address the needs of people with disabilities. Through its work and advocacy, MOPD has steadily improved services and programs for the over 885,000 New Yorkers who self-identify as people who are living with a disability as well as the approximately six million annual visitors to the city who have disabilities in all facets of life including transportation, employment, healthcare, housing, education, access to City services, and financial empowerment. Working to make New York the most accessible city in the world, the office regularly engages in advocacy and policymaking at the local, state, national, and international levels to make certain that accessibility and full inclusion are key priorities for all public and private stakeholders alike. Learn more about MOPD by visiting nyc.gov/disability.