Today marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) which prohibits discrimination against people with disabilities in employment, education and public accommodations. While the signing of the ADA provided a major step in the right direction, we know individuals with disabilities still face barriers to employment and economic independence. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, people with disabilities are still twice as likely to be unemployed, compared to those without a disability.

Locally, we’re 100% committed to our mission of helping people achieve their full potential through the dignity and power of work, and we have a proven track record of providing people with disabilities employment and training services since our inception in 1979. We currently employ more than 440 individuals with disabilities, making us one of the largest employers of individuals with disabilities in South Carolina. The vast majority of these employees participate in the AbilityOne program, which is a job training and employment program that enables individuals with disabilities to enjoy full participation in their community and market their skills in public and private sector jobs.

Currently, Palmetto Goodwill operates 14 AbilityOne contracts with all four branches of the military in the communities we serve. Our employees perform high-volume food service, secure mail room operations, custodial and aseptic cleaning, grounds maintenance and more. Check out the video below to learn more about how our team of talented individuals with differing abilities provides award-winning service while enjoying social and economic independence.

We believe everyone should have the opportunity to live independently, earn wages, and achieve their dreams. Today, we’re challenging our Palmetto Goodwill community to join us in becoming advocates against workplace discrimination based on disabilities. How can we work together to become more inclusive, educated, and motivated to improve the lives of those with differing abilities? We encourage you to share your thoughts with us below, and on social media. Together, we can make a lasting impact for the next 30 years and beyond.