In 2020 we have celebrated many disability rights milestones, including the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act. This October, we celebrate the 75th anniversary of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), which honors America’s workers with disabilities and reminds employers of the importance of inclusive hiring practices. The theme for the 2020 observance of NDEAM is “Increasing Access and Opportunity.” Sunrise Community, Inc. recognizes that all people want and have a right to a full and productive life, including a home, family, participation in the community, and for many, work. A shining example of who we honor this month is Ms. Ann, a person supported by Sunrise.
We want to congratulate Ms. Ann on being hired as a bagger at Harris Teeter. Ann has been applying for jobs over the past five years without much luck. She had faith that something would eventually come through, so she continued to apply. With great determination, Ann set a goal to complete at least two applications per week. Her perseverance paid off when Ann finally secured a job close to home and in the field that she wanted.
Ann was hired in March of 2020 but could not start working due to COVID-19 safety concerns. Anxious to safeguard her position, Ann asked the Sunrise staff every week to contact the store manager to make sure her job was still secure. The store eventually terminated her because she was unable to start. In August, Ann decided that she would not let the pandemic hold her back any longer. With assistance from her job coach, Ann reapplied to Harris Teeter and was called back in for an interview. Ann was rehired and began work on Monday, September 28th.
Nationwide, people with disabilities contribute perspective and value within their communities. At Sunrise, we believe that a disability should not determine where and if you should be able to work. Together we are working to empower people to choose the course of their lives, such as where they live, where they secure and maintain a job, and how they exercise their rights. There is an abundance of people with disabilities who are qualified and willing to work hard to get ahead. We hope that stories like Ann’s inspire other companies and organizations to give opportunities to people with disabilities who are hungry for success!