Nearly 40 million Americans are currently living with a disability. The Americans with Disabilities Act, enacted in 1990, paved the way for an equal opportunity environment for all individuals with disabilities. Before the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), individuals had no protection from discrimination and were often denied employment based on their capabilities.
The purpose of the ADA is to prohibit discrimination against people with disabilities and to guarantee equal opportunity in the public sector, specifically in the workplace, educational institutions and transportation services. The ADA became law in 1990 with amendments effective in 2009. The ADA Amendments Act is an important aspect to the recruitment and hiring of employees because it clearly defines disability to ensure equal opportunity. According to the amendment, disability is defined as someone with a physical or mental impairment that limits activity.
Blue Cross Blue Shield of Michigan supports employees with disabilities by encouraging an open dialogue pertaining to common physical and mental differences and opportunities. Blue Cross provides support to all employees at all levels of abilities. The human resources team is constantly updating the methods and processes for hiring to ensure a diverse workforce. In addition to the inclusive hiring process, Blue Cross has created a variety of programs to promote diversity and inclusion throughout the company such as the Employee Resource Network (ERN), BrightBlue ERN and Blue Paths to Success.
ERNs bring employees together based on their common interests and diverse points of view. The BrightBlue ERN focuses on expanding the understanding of disabilities within the workforce by promoting a seamless integration of employees with disabilities into the company and to create a community for individuals with different capabilities. Blue Paths to Success is a college internship program that partners with local disability advocates to recruit young professionals with disabilities.
To further support individuals with disabilities, Blue Cross will be sponsoring the Annual ADA Anniversary Celebration Picnic put on by The Disability Network of Flint.
- Friday, July 26 from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m.
- Flint Powers Catholic High School, 1505 W. Court St.
- The annual celebration is open to the community and specifically invites local, differently-able individuals and their family to a free outdoor picnic. There will be picnic-style food, recreational activities and games.
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