SARASOTA/BRADENTON, FL – On Friday, July 24, Goodwill Manasota will present ADA 25: Celebrate the Americans with Disabilities Act. The free luncheon, which features special guests John T.R. Howell, Area 4 director of the Division of Vocational Rehab and Myra Goldick, author of “Focused, Unstuck and Back in Action” and “Dancing on Your Disabilities,” takes place at Goodwill’s International Training Center (2705 51st Ave., Bradenton) from 11:30am-1:00pm.
The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was passed in 1990. According to materials provided by the ADA National Network: The ADA gives civil rights protections to individuals with disabilities similar to those provided to individuals on the basis of race, color, sex, national origin, age, and religion. It guarantees equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in public accommodations, employment, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. It prohibits discrimination in all employment practices, and applies to recruitment, advertising, tenure, layoff, leave, fringe benefits, and all other employment-related activities.
Barriers to employment, transportation, public accommodations, public services, and telecommunications have imposed staggering economic and social costs on American society and have undermined efforts by people with disabilities to receive an education, become employed, and be contributing members of society. By breaking down these barriers, the ADA enables society to benefit from the skills, talents and purchasing power of individuals with disabilities and leads to fuller, more productive lives for all Americans.
Goodwill Manasota is committed to providing an opportunity for those with disabilities to find employment. The organization employs more than 100 team members – more than 12% of its workforce – with significant disabilities through its Supported Jobs Plus (SJP) program. Implemented in 2005, the SJP program targets sustainable employment for those with significant disabilities. Part of the process includes identifying specific jobs at each store to earmark for a person with a disability. Through partnerships with agencies throughout Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties, individuals who have been unsuccessful obtaining employment elsewhere and have a desire to work are referred to Goodwill. As positions at Goodwill become available, the agencies are notified and applicants are interviewed.
Goodwill Manasota provides these team members with a Good Partner Coach, who acts as a life coach, and a case manager who offers employment, family and personal coaching. When needed, Goodwill sees that workplace accommodations are made in order to ensure that team members are given the resources and tools they need to be successful.
“Goodwill has been innovative in hiring people from the community who may have been told they weren’t employable elsewhere,” said Bob Rosinsky, president & CEO of Goodwill Manasota. “We choose to look past a person’s disabilities and, instead, see and appreciate them for their abilities. We want to empower people and show them they are worth the time and investment to help them achieve job and life success. Everyone deserves a chance to earn a paycheck and feel the dignity of work.”
Recently, Goodwill was named the Disability Nonprofit Brand of the Year as part of the 2015 Harris Poll EquiTrend® Study, an annual brand equity study which was released in the spring. The study ranked consumer awareness and perception of charitable nonprofit brands based on three factors — familiarity, quality and purchase consideration — that result in a brand equity rating for each brand.
RSVPs for the ADA 25 luncheon are requested by July 15 to GoodwillRSVP@gimi.org or by calling (941) 355-2721, ext. 163.
About Goodwill Manasota
Goodwill Manasota is an industry-leading, 501(c)(3), not-for-profit organization that changes lives through the power of work. With the sales of donated goods and philanthropic donations, Goodwill is able to assist people with disabilities and other barriers to employment by providing job skills training and employment opportunities. In 2014, Goodwill Manasota served more than 16,000 people, placed 680 people in jobs and assisted 520 veterans as they reintegrated back into the civilian workforce. Goodwill Manasota’s economic impact back to the community is worth $81.3 million. Goodwill is one of the pioneers of the reduce-reuse-recycle movement and this past year diverted 39 million pounds out of the landfill. We accomplish our mission through a network of Good Neighbor Centers in Sarasota, Manatee, Hardee and DeSoto counties and our Mission Development Services (MDS) around North America. Goodwill Manasota is accountable to a local Board of Directors. Goodwill Manasota in essence belongs to this community, and is not owned by any individual or company. For more information, visit www.experiencegoodwill.org.