October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, a perfect time to highlight the workplace contributions made by our athletes and people with disabilities everywhere.
Special Olympics Florida athletes work in the retail, hospitality, and high-tech sectors. They work in schools, hospitals, and nonprofit organizations. Overall, almost 20 percent of all people with disabilities are employed, according to government estimates.
That percentage has grown over time, thanks to forward-thinking companies committed to the principles of inclusion. We’re fortunate many of those companies are partners of Special Olympics Florida. The list includes Publix, our Premium sponsor, Accenture, the Race for Inclusion Official Strategy Sponsor, and TD Bank, a sponsor of the Miami Race for Inclusion. More companies should follow their lead and adopt hiring policies that offer people with intellectual disabilities the opportunities they deserve.
That is a central message of our statewide Race for Inclusion – and a cause Special Olympics Florida has fought for since our founding 50 years ago. We have known from the beginning that our athletes are capable of amazing things, if they’re just given the chance. Our athletes are authors, public speakers, and media influencers. They are artists, coaches, and advocates. In short, they can do the same jobs as anyone else.
As we mark National Disability Employment Awareness Month, we invite you to follow us on social media and be inspired by our amazing athletes. Working together, we can create a world of inclusion and acceptance.