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Real Jobs Equal Real Lives

Real Jobs Equal Real Lives

Buckhead resident advocates for people with disabilities

For Buckhead resident Judith Moen Stanley, advocating for people with special needs is personal. Her son, Phillip, a student at Kennesaw State University’s Academy for Social Inclusion, who has cerebral palsy, is a prime example of how her efforts (and his) have paid off. As chairman of the board for the nonprofit All About Developmental Disabilities (AADD), she helps both parents and children navigate a rocky road.

“A century ago, these kids were institutionalized, which was horribly medieval and came at a huge cost. Today, we’re caring for them at home, but we face enormous pressures, particularly as they reach adulthood,” Moen Stanley says. “AADD’s mission is to better integrate them into the community so they can live real lives and have real jobs.”

In October, the organization launched HireAbility Georgia to encourage companies to hire people with disabilities. “They not only receive tax benefits but also employee loyalty, lower rates of absenteeism, higher morale and longevity,” she says. “Pizza Hut reports that the turnover rate is 20 percent compared to 150 percent for able personnel.”

Partnerships with major retailers, like The Home Depot and Publix, have been very successful, but AADD hopes more companies will consider employing the 80 percent of the disability popu- lation currently looking for work.

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