March is Developmental Disabilities Awareness Month. For Olathe, Kansas-based PawsAbilities and our parent organization, Inclusion Connections, it’s an important designation. The month was designed to bring attention to the men and women who live in communities big and small, such as the many communities that make up the Kansas City area.
We, too, want to bring attention to that population of individuals. However, we want to do more than generate awareness. PawsAbilities wants to focus on the numbers and then take action. Statistics show:
· People with intellectual or developmental disabilities have better on-time and workplace attendance records than their comparable, non-disabled colleagues.
· Hiring people with physical or intellectual disabilities can help a company’s bottom line through reduced turnover and increased productivity.
· Companies that hire employees with a disability are eligible for tax incentives.
Working off those positive statistics, PawsAbilities designed and built a workforce training program for young adults with intellectual disabilities. What began as an artisan dog treat business has grown to include handcrafted dog toys and doggie bandanas, as well as other related pet-lover items. PawsAbilities now operates from a retail storefront in Olathe, where our participants learn valuable workforce skills, such as manufacturing, packaging, distribution, sales and marketing, and inventory control. We even added a component to allow our customers to order a monthly PawsAbilities subscription of dog treats.
How’s that for Developmental Disabilities Awareness? People in our community can and do contribute to our city, our society and our business. #DevelopmentalDisabilitiesMonth #PawsAbilities