Earlier this month, on October 3rd, I had the honor of representing Benetech at the 2013 Diversability Breakfast—an event that raises community awareness about efforts to advance inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace. We were one of a select number of organizations recognized for creating employment opportunities for people with disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area. In this fourth and last installment of our blog series marking National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), I’d like to share highlights from this special event.
The Diversability Breakfast took place at the San Francisco-based Pomeroy Recreation and Rehabilitation Center and was held in coincidence with National Disability Employment Awareness Month. Reflecting this year’s NDEAM theme, “Because We Are EQUAL to the Task,” the event was organized by the Jobs Group—an alliance of prominent organizations in San Francisco and San Mateo Counties as well as of State and Federal agencies dedicated to job training and placement for individuals with disabilities in the San Francisco Bay Area.
We were part of a select group of organizations—including LinkedIn, Macy’s and the Renaissance Entrepreneurship Center—that were presented with certificates of appreciation for their commitment to creating job opportunities for Bay Area residents with disabilities. We received this recognition thanks to our partnership with The Specialists Guild (TSG)—a San Francisco-based nonprofit and one of the Job Group member organizations that provides high tech training and employment opportunities for people on the Autism spectrum. TSG’s services are focused on quality assurance, data entry and graphic design jobs, helping tech companies build better products while providing meaningful work opportunities for people with Autism.
Our Engineering Team first partnered with TSG when we needed help with a significant volume of quality assurance and testing work involved in a set of major enhancements to our Route 66 Literacy initiative.
As we described in a recent blog post, partnering with TSG was a great opportunity to exercise our own version of Impact Sourcing. We call it “Social Enterprise Supply Chain”—basically, outsourcing certain jobs in a way that maximizes social benefit for people who are disadvantaged. You can read more about our Social Enterprise Supply Chain model and its worldwide impact in one of our Bookshare impact stories.
TSG’s Quality Assurance team members did a fantastic job helping us roll out the newly developed Route 66 and we continue to partner with them on various other projects. I’d like to extend special thanks to Luby and Andy Aczel, TSG’s co-founders, for their amazing work on behalf of people with autism, for helping us increase our social impact and for nominating us to be recognized at the Diversability Breakfast.
During this event, TSG and other Job Group member organizations introduced a new Bay Area job listing service called JobsBucket, created to help people with disabilities find fulfilling jobs and employers across sectors discover excellent workers. Please share this new resource with anyone you think may benefit from it. We hope it helps many organizations grow their social impact and create their own versions of impact sourcing models.