Our Challenge to You

Excerpted from Able!: How One Company’s Disabled Workforce Became the Key to Extraordinary Success (BenBella Books, 2005), from the epilogue by David Morris, CEO, Habitat International, Inc.:

If you’re an employer, I urge you to let go of your fear and your preconceived notions and hire individuals, not labels or categories. Substitute the word “able” for “disabled” in your own mind and see what happens.

If you’re a parent or caregiver of a person with a disability, I urge you to take a leap of faith and allow your loved one to spread her wings in the workplace. There are ways to help keep her government-funded medical benefits intact if necessary.

If you’re a working-age person with a disability, I urge you to seek employment with a socially responsible business. They are out there. Even if the company has never employed a person with special challenges, go into the interview with a “yes, yes, I can” attitude. Let the person who’s hiring see your confidence in your own abilities, and explain how you can help him build a better workplace. Regardless of whether you get the job, you’ll undoubtedly make an impact and help pave the way for future employees with “distractions.”

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