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Monday, February 23, 2004

CPD Program Helps Accommodate Persons With Disabilities

SALISBURY, MD---Recognizing business’ needs for accommodating persons with disabilities as diverse members of society, the Center for Professional Development at Salisbury University has joined with The Access Group Inc. of Columbia, MD, to create a comprehensive training package for human resources professionals. “Disability is an uncomfortable topic for many people… but the fact is, while many people routinely push disability aside, there are sound economic and business reasons for viewing people with disabilities as viable members of a diverse world,” said Tim Daly, author of Ramping Up For Profit, a guide to providing equal treatment and accommodation for those with disabilities. In 2001 the U.S. Small Business Administration named Daly the home-based business advocate of the year. Dr. Martin G. Brodwin, professor and coordinator of rehabilitation education programs at California State University, Los Angeles, recommends Daly’s book for employers, rehabilitation educators, counselors and disability management consultants: “The ideas may be implemented at little or no cost and can help businesses avoid costly lawsuits for noncompliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act…. Critical thinking and humor are indeed central to this small treasure of a book.” The book is part of the entire training package, titled “Dimensions of Difference: Opening Minds—A New Perspective.” The package includes five workbooks, a leader’s guide and a four-part video or DVD series with interviews from Daly, a person with Ataxia, a disability affecting muscle and nervous tissue. Daly, who has served as a consultant and speaker for removing attitudinal barriers in the workplace, is a requested speaker across the nation. He received Wheeling Jesuit University’s 2003 Distinguished Alumni Award. Topics covered include the sprit versus letter of the law, opportunities to attract new customers by being disabled-friendly, components of disability awareness, ideas on perceptions and attitudes, communication tips and coaching employees with a focus on their ability, not disability. Recent studies conducted by the National Organization on Disabilities have shown only 32 percent of people with disabilities age 18-64 are involved in the workforce.  However, more than 60 percent would like to be. The disability community represents some 20 percent of all Americans worth more than $220 billion in spending power. This training packet can be an integral part of any company’s Human Resources Training and Diversity program. Packages are available for $645. Individual components may be purchased separately. For more information call Kathryn Redden at 410-543-6394 or visit the Center for Professional Development Web site at www.salisbury.edu/community/cpd.

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