Honoring organizations that employ individuals with disabilities
The Florida Agency for Persons with Disabilities (APD) is dedicated to helping people with developmental disabilities find employment. APD serves and supports more than 50,000 Floridians. The organization is one of many across the state that is celebrating Disability Employment Awareness Month. Here, APD Director Barbara Palmer tells us more about what APD is doing in observance of the month.
APD works closely with businesses willing to provide job opportunities to people who are qualified and able to perform the work and partners with the state’s Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) program to provide support to individuals and employers to ensure a successful job match.
Specifically, we spearhead Florida’s Exceptional Employer Awards on behalf of the state of Florida, which recognizes 10 companies from around the state who employ people with disabilities.
An employer to be recognized at the upcoming event is the Pickle Baron of Key West. Owners Dustan Carpenter and John Nutting work with Monroe Association for ReMARCable Citizens to teach people with disabilities how to work in a professional kitchen. Two employees with disabilities who have found success at the Pickle Baron are Tony Maynard and Ben Neff.
“Individuals with disabilities are like you and I, just wanting a chance to show what they can do for a willing employer.”
“We love having Ben and Tony as employees,” Carpenter said. “They adapt quickly, they are hard workers, they can face challenges and solve those problems on their own. They are funny and kind and excited to be a part of Pickle Baron. We truly appreciate the pride and hard work.”
Florida needs more business like the Pickle Baron – employers willing to give individuals with disabilities the chance to work hard and show what they can do.
Florida’s Exceptional Employer Awards will take place on Wednesday, October 5 at Tallahassee City Hall, 300 S Adams St. The 11th Annual Awards celebration will begin at 8:30 a.m. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit APDcares.org or call toll-free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).