Spotlight on City of Boynton Beach
Employer Contact: Debbie Majors
Title/Position: Grants & ADA Coordinator
Why is it important to hire persons who are blind or visually impaired?
I believe the intent of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is equality for all. Through the City’s Inclusion Support Team, which is comprised of 18 organizations who serve, or advocate for, individuals with disabilities, I have met many talented individuals who are ready and eager to work. The responsibility is upon employers to provide that opportunity.
How has hiring persons who are blind or visually impaired benefitted your company?
Organizations are at their best when they welcome, respect and include people of all backgrounds, and that includes individuals with disabilities. Our organization is better equipped to serve our community when we work together to understand the needs from their perspective. Working alongside individuals with disabilities teaches us there are many ways to get the job done, in addition to allowing time for us to get to know the person behind the disability. We focus less on the disability and more on the individual. It has brought us closer together as a team.
“Nothing about us without us”…
To quote James Charlton who authored a book by this same title, the term “Nothing About Us Without Us,” “expresses the conviction of people with disabilities that they know what is best for them.” As the City’s ADA Coordinator, thankfully, I learned this lesson early on, and in 2015, created an Inclusion Support Team to enable the City to have full involvement of individuals with disabilities in our planning, policies, programs and services. They have provided invaluable insight in planning our new downtown government and cultural facilities. I can’t imagine working any other way.
Since we opened the door in 2015, and shed a new light on inclusion in the workplace, we have seen awareness and acceptance grow among our 700+ employees. I know this will continue, as our message is reaching far beyond our employees, into their families, friends and the community. TOGETHER, we are celebrating the 30th Anniversary of the ADA and it’s pretty great!