Washington, DC – On July 30, The Arc’s staff traveled to Walmart’s corporate headquarters in Bentonville, Arkansas to deliver a disability inclusion training to members of its leadership and staff. Nearly 300 participants, both in-person and virtual, took part in the session which provided an introduction to the history of the disability rights movement in the United States and examined some of the core issues affecting today’s disability community.
The training is the first of two that The Arc’s national employment initiative, The Arc@Work, will be conducting over the coming months. The next step will be to develop an eLearning training module that will span multiple topics related to disability, inclusion and employment. This training module will be made available to the staff at corporate headquarters as well as all of Walmart’s US-based associates.
“The Arc is a leading voice in the disability community, advocating for and implementing change for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities across the lifespan. The Arc is honored to be bringing nearly 70 years of knowledge and expertise in the disability rights field to Walmart and its employees. Our trainings will allow Walmart to learn more about the disability community and further their understanding of how fostering employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities is the right thing to do, and good for business,” said Jonathan Lucus, Senior Director, Workforce Strategy, The Arc.
The Arc@Work supports corporate clients in meeting their diversity and inclusion goals, from recruiting qualified job candidates with disabilities, to conducting staff and management disability awareness trainings, to creating disability-inclusive workspaces.
Employment rates for people with disabilities – especially people with intellectual and developmental disabilities – are critically low compared to people without disabilities. The US Census Bureau’s American Community Survey (2015) estimates that people with any disability or a cognitive disability are employed at much lower rates (34.3% and 24.8% respectively) than those without disabilities (73.6%)1. Additionally, the National Core Indicators Survey of 2015-2016 reported that 19% of people with I/DD in the workforce reported having a paid job in the community2.
The Arc advocates for and serves people with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD), including Down syndrome, autism, Fetal Alcohol Spectrum Disorders, cerebral palsy and other diagnoses. The Arc has a network of over 600 chapters across the country promoting and protecting the human rights of people with I/DD and actively supporting their full inclusion and participation in the community throughout their lifetimes and without regard to diagnosis.
Editor’s Note: The Arc is not an acronym; always refer to us as The Arc, not The ARC and never ARC. The Arc should be considered as a title or a phrase.