Skip to page content
Office of Disability Employment Policy
Bookmark and Share

ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic

Business Sense Banner

Business Sense

Workforce Diversity Includes Disability

If youíve ever seen a poster or brochure about topics such as child safety seats or drunk driving prevention, you might already be familiar with Kenny Allenís work.† A graphic designer in Washington, D.C., Kenny is part of a prolific team that produces publications, websites and other materials to promote road safety.

Kenny works for a Federal contractor to the U.S. Department of Transportationís National Highway Traffic Safety Administration.† His employer — a minority-owned business that graduated from the Small Business Administrationís 8a Business Development Program for small, disadvantaged businesses — is expressly committed to diversity in its workforce, and Kenny is one reflection of this core value.

Although often thought of in terms of race or ethnicity, diversity actually encompasses a wide range of individual differences, including disability.† This intersection is the premise behind Add Us In, a U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) initiative that aims to assist small businesses — including the rapidly increasing number of those owned by diverse individuals — to employ people with disabilities.

Kenny, who has osteogenesis imperfecta and uses crutches to walk, didnít originally envision a career in graphic arts, although he did enjoy drawing as a child.† After earning a degree in business, he first worked in database design.† He later ďluckedĒ into a position in graphics, and it ended up offering a good way to mesh his technical and creative interests, he says.† Ever since, itís been his employers who have gotten lucky — with a skilled, dedicated employee who adds to the diverse range of viewpoints they need to succeed.

For additional news and resources, sign up for ODEP's e-mail updates.