I have been working with JJ’s List and I always find myself learning about their presentations and workshops in which they present to different communities all over. In fact on February 17, 2012 the JJ’s List Disability Awareness Players went over to Glenview State Bank, to give employees from all GSB branches at corporate headquarters a presentation.
The JJ’s List Disability Awareness Players is a cross-ability team that teaches disability awareness through fun, skills-building interaction. With the players’ help and encouragement, GSB staff underwent practice on 21st Century disability-speak called “person-first language” and role-played to build confidence interacting with a person who has a disability. In addition, The Players and staff also practiced one-to-one networking skills to help The Players build soft skills for employment readiness. ” Jake Joehl, one of the JJ’s List players comments, “the training at GSB went really well because they were really receptive to what we had to say as a group. Also, I especially liked the networking part of the presentation because it was good to meet the staff one-to-one and talk to them about different things associated with employment and job readiness.”
From the feedback received, every training attendee said they would recommend this workshop to other businesses. When asked, “what part of today’s session was most valuable for you and why?” Tim Gaida, a GSB Vice President said, “to see and hear the JJ’s List players openly discuss their disabilities and the perspective that they provided in discussing the ways in which they prefer to be addressed was the most valuable part of the session.” Tim also added, “while I have dealt with individuals with various disabilities in my 30 plus years of working with the public, I have never been educated in the proper ways of addressing those with disabilities. Hearing it first hand from the JJ’s List players was profound.”
Why is it so important for businesses to be trained in disability awareness? In my opinion, it is highly important because people with disabilities are people too. Employment is just as important to us and we need the job skills and networking experience in order to be successful. In addition, it is important for businesses to engage in a working environment that is diverse in all abilities and walks of life. No one’s abilities should be limited or challenged. Instead we should all be treated with respect and equally, not by our faults or by our limitations. On that note, Danka Tasiopoulos, another GSB Vice President said, “it is great that JJ’s List is educating people about ways to communicate with disabled persons. All of us have faults and need to respect and treat people equally.”
If you would like to learn more about disability awareness training for your business or organization, please contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or 847-869-0000.
About the Author
My name is Ariel Singer and I am 23 years old who graduated college with a bachelors in Human Services. I love to help people and volunteer my time as well as learn new things. Learning new things is a little challenging for me because I, Myself have a learning disability. I do not let it phase me instead I work hard and advocate for myself. I currently volunteer at JJ’s List and I am loving it because I am treated with respect and they work with me and encourage me to be all I can be and I believe that is what Businesses should be doing with their employees. I am very proud that GSB is taking initiative to collaborate and understand Person First Language.They will now be able to serve their customers more effectively.