Posted October 24, 2023

AFFLINK honors National Disability Employment Awareness Month

The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) chose the theme "Advancing Access and Equity" for National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), celebrated every October. To support these programs and honor those with disabilities, AFFLINK has had an ongoing partnership with AbilityOne since 2020.

NDEAM not only commemorates the 50th anniversary of the Rehabilitation Act of 1973, which prohibits discrimination based on disability, but also acknowledges the significant contributions of American workers with disabilities, both in the past and the present.

As an authorized AbilityOne Group Network, AFFLINK's approved distributor members are authorized to distribute AbilityOne program products to federal customers.

According to Ron Wright, senior director of strategic growth for AFFLINK, the AbilityOne program is a federal initiative dating back to the 1930s.

"The AbilityOne Nonprofit Agencies (NPAs) provide job training to individuals with significant disabilities, enabling them to attain independence and self-reliance in various fields such as manufacturing, services, and technology."

To help these NPAs market their products and services, AbilityOne connects them with distribution networks such as AFFLINK, whose independent distributor members are experts in facilities maintenance, office products, food service, packaging, and other industries.

Wright adds that one of the benefits AFFLINK brings these Federal facilities and, in some cases, the Building Service Contractors that service those facilities, is an understanding of what AbilityOne products are mandatory on those facility contracts.

"Our focus is training our distributor members to be knowledgeable on the details of the program," he said, "allowing them to teach at the local facility level, [and] helping to keep these facilities and service companies compliant with all applicable federal policies and regulations."

In addition, Wright believes partnering with AbilityOne has another critical advantage for AFFLINK.

"This partnership allows AFFLINK and our distributor members to honor America's underemployed workforce who are blind or have significant disabilities," he said. "This is a core value of AFFLINK. We believe working together we can make a positive difference in thousands of lives."