Defying Disability: SourceAmerica’s Network Proves Ability First
Did you know that up to one in four adults in the United States have some type of disability? Disabilities aren’t always apparent; you can’t necessarily tell if a person has a disability just by looking at them. An unseen disability can be related to cognition, vision, hearing, behavior— and other factors, such as an injury or a longstanding medical condition. People with disabilities also cross all racial, gender, educational, and socioeconomic lines.
SourceAmerica, a national disability employment leader, has been working to increase employment choices for a dedicated and talented workforce of people with disabilities for nearly 50 years. We create jobs and provide business services through a network of more than 575 nonprofit agencies that employ and train people with disabilities. In turn, this collaboration supports the employment of more than 65,000 people with disabilities employed through the SourceAmerica nonprofit network — with both seen and unseen disabilities — each year. Some of these disabilities include:
- Autism spectrum disorder
- Cerebral palsy
- Intellectual/developmental disability
- Mental illness
- Traumatic brain injury
- Blind or visually impaired
- Hearing impairment
- Learning disability
- Musculoskeletal disability
- Substance abuse/alcoholism
- Other severe disabilities (such as cancer, AIDS, COPD, etc.)
SourceAmerica plays a critical role in creating and maintaining employment opportunities for people with disabilities in diverse lines of business to support customers’ service and product needs in the public and private sectors.
Within the SourceAmerica network, people with disabilities are employed in diverse services, such as:
- Administrative Services
- Contact Center and IT Services
- Contract Packaging and Manufacturing
- Electronics Recycling Services
- Healthcare and Environmental Services
- Laundry Services
- Records and Document Management Services
- Supply Chain Management and Warehouse Services
- Total Facilities Management
Some of the product lines of business supported within the SourceAmerica network include:
- Apparel and Equipment
- Food Products, Processing, Packaging and Distribution
- Hardware Supplies and Equipment
- Medical Supplies
- Office Supplies
Additionally, SourceAmerica helps administer the AbilityOne® Program, among the largest sources of employment for people with disabilities. This involves working closely with federal agencies to create jobs in lines of business that support the government’s mission.
Veterans with disabilities are also a key part of the total workforce, bringing the unique skills they gained from military service to the workplace. In fiscal year 2022, over 2,000 veterans with disabilities were employed through the AbilityOne Program.
Through the employment opportunities SourceAmerica creates, our organization is working to build a more inclusive America where people with disabilities work alongside those without disabilities. The individuals employed at nonprofits in the SourceAmerica network benefit from increased economic mobility, self-sufficiency, and earning potential. Also, as active contributors to their local economies, area businesses benefit too. Together with our customers, SourceAmerica and the NPAs in the SourceAmerica nonprofit network are proving how successful and productive our nation’s workforce can be when people of all abilities participate.
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