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U.S. Cellular named Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion

U.S. Cellular named Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion

Original Article by BDN Community | June 20th, 2020

U.S. Cellular today announced that it earned a top score of 100% on the 2020 Disability Equality Index® (DEI) and has been named a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion. The DEI is a joint initiative between Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and is acknowledged as the most comprehensive disability inclusion assessment tool designed and embraced by both business leaders and disability advocates.

“At U.S. Cellular, we strive to foster a culture of diversity and inclusion, and we know that hiring and supporting associates with unique perspectives and experiences makes us all better,” said Matt Kasper, director of sales at U.S. Cellular in New England. “We are honored to be recognized for our disability inclusion practices, but our work is never done. We will continue working to create a welcoming environment where every associate feels they can reach their full potential and be successful.”

The 2020 DEI measured culture and leadership, enterprise-wide access, employment practices (benefits, recruitment, employment, education, retention/advancement and accommodations), community engagement and supplier diversity.

“The best way to attract, retain and grow talent with disabilities is to create an accessible, inclusive workplace. This year’s top scoring Disability Equality Index companies are demonstrating their commitment to many of the numerous leading disability inclusion practices featured in the DEI, recognizing that there’s still room for improvement,” said Jill Houghton, president & chief executive officer of Disability:IN. “We are proud to have developed strong partnerships with corporate allies who are committed to advancing disability inclusion and equality across their businesses in the United States and around the world.”

U.S. Cellular’s CapAble Associate Network is among eight volunteer Associate Resource Groups the company created that promote a culture of diversity and inclusion through programming, advocacy and continual learning to advance the associate experience through inclusiveness. The CapAble Associate Network focuses on providing educational and developmental resources and increasing the awareness of matters that affect people with disabilities.

For more information about U.S. Cellular’s diversity and inclusion initiatives, please go to uscellular.jobs/diversity-and-inclusion.

About U.S. Cellular — U.S. Cellular is the fourth-largest full-service wireless carrier in the United States, providing national network coverage and industry-leading innovations designed to elevate the customer experience. The Chicago-based carrier is building a stronger network with the latest 5G technology and offers a wide range of communication services that enhance consumers’ lives, increase the competitiveness of local businesses and improve the efficiency of government operations. To learn more about U.S. Cellular, visit one of its retail stores or uscellular.com. To get the latest news, promos and videos, connect with U.S. Cellular on Facebook.com/uscellular, Twitter.com/uscellular and YouTube.com/uscellularcorp.

About the Disability Equality Index® — The Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a national, transparent benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to self-report their disability inclusion policies and practices. It was developed by two national leaders, American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and Disability:IN, in consultation with the appointed DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of experts in business, policy, and disability advocacy. Learn more at DisabilityEqualityIndex.org

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) — AAPD is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power for people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the 50+ million Americans with disabilities. Learn more at aapd.com.

About Disability:IN® — Disability:IN, formerly known as the US Business Leadership Network, is the leading nonprofit resource for business disability inclusion worldwide. Partnering with more than 220 corporations, Disability:IN expands opportunities for people with disabilities across enterprises. The organization and 30 affiliates raise a collective voice of positive change for people with disabilities in business. Through its programs and services, Disability:IN empowers businesses to achieve disability inclusion and equality, with the goal of advancing inclusion to the point when the organization is no longer necessary. Learn more at disabilityin.org.

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“Good job," her father recalls saying.

It’s not cardboard anymore. That shoebox, her parents said, became the impetus for a real business, one they believe their daughter had been thinking about when she made the diorama.

Any ideas? You got it: an ice cream parlor. This one is the The Trenton Ice Cream Parlor and the grand opening is March 12.

It’s on the ground floor of a commercial/residential building the family owns at 969 S. Broad Street. The couple, who once had a retail business in Pennsylvania, wanted to do something for their daughter as she grew older.

“That’s when we remembered that she had built the ice cream parlor," her mother said.

In this setting, Hannah could work, socialize and learn various skills that will help her later in life.

“We figured we do this for her."

Eight months ago, it was just an idea. Now it’s a reality and the attention they’ve received is something the family didn’t anticipate. Folks have responded on Instagram and Facebook, where Hannah has some 2,000 followers. Dignitaries will be at the grand opening; the street will be closed for a festival.

Screen Shot 2020-03-09 at 3.27.35 PM

“There are people excited about what we did," Eric McRoy said. “It has been phenomenal."

The parlor had a soft opening in October, and the parents said they believe it’s helping their daughter.

Hannah does chores around the store on the weekends. She’ll wash dishes and scoop ice cream. There have been times, her parents said, that Hannah has shocked them.

“I thought I heard her say, ‘hi customer,’’ and “'what do you want,'" her mother said.

The shock reminds her of the day when Hannah was 8-years-old. Mom thought she heard her daughter say, “mommy.’’

By age 12, she really did hear it. She also recognized that Hannah said “daddy” and the names of her three brothers, too.

“She’s been opening up more because she’s been in the ice cream shop," her father said.

Hannah’s ability to express herself is limited verbally, but what she had to say came through loud and clear creatively. Next Thursday, she’ll get to put the cherry on top of her idea when she cuts the ribbon to mark the official opening of the store.

© 2020 Houston Chronicle
Distributed by Tribune Content Agency, LLC

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