CONTACT: David J. Tobiczyk, Vice President, Marketing & Development, 412-632-1942 or david.tobiczyk@goodwillswpa.org

PITTSBURGH, Pa., July 20, 2015 – Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania joins with others across the country this month to commemorate the historic Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) that was signed into law on July 26, 1990. This legislation established a clear and comprehensive national mandate for the elimination of discrimination against people with disabilities to ensure that they have the same rights and opportunities as everyone else. 

The ADA has expanded opportunities for Americans with disabilities by reducing barriers, changing perceptions, and increasing full participation in community life. Goodwill SWPA is offering two activities for the community to join in the 25th anniversary commemoration.

Affordable Accessibility Solutions Open House
Goodwill SWPA will host an open house to showcase low-cost and no-cost accommodation ideas. Accessible technologies and adaptive products can help people with disabilities live and work more independently. The public is invited to discover how affordable these solutions can be on Friday, July 31, between 10 a.m. and 3 p.m. at the Goodwill Workforce Development Center at 118 52nd Street in Lawrenceville.

During the event, participants will have the opportunity to learn more about Goodwill SWPA and its Assistive Technology (AT) Program; discover how accessible technologies and adaptive products can help people with disabilities live and work more independently; and speak to Goodwill SWPA staff. Light refreshments will be served. The Open House is free to the public; no pre-registration is required.

Equality and Inclusion Pledge Signing
Individuals in the community are invited to join Goodwill SWPA in showing their commitment to the ADA’s founding principles by signing a pledge in support of full implementation of the ADA law, and full inclusion of people with disabilities in all aspects of community life. Community members can read and sign the pledge in the lobby of Goodwill’s Lawrenceville Workforce Development Center on the following dates and times:

  • Monday, July 20, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
  • Tuesday, July 28, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.
  • Wednesday, August 5, 7:30 – 9:00 a.m.
  • Thursday, August 13, 11 a.m. – 12:30 p.m.

Despite the advances spurred by the ADA, finding meaningful employment continues to be challenging for people with disabilities. According to Bureau of Labor Statistics data released in June 2015, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities was 12.5 percent in 2014, more than double the figure for those with no disabilities (5.9 percent).

"Donations to Goodwill SWPA support the broad range of services we provide to assist men and women with disabilities in their vocational pursuits. The simple act of clearing clutter and donating items helps create jobs in our community," said Michael J. Smith, President/CEO, Goodwill SWPA. "Please join the more than 90 million donors who contribute to Goodwill agencies across the country, making lives better for millions of individuals and families."

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About Goodwill SWPA 

Goodwill of Southwestern Pennsylvania is a diversified human service agency that is supported, in part, by its network of retail stores and other nonprofit businesses. It serves all of southwestern Pennsylvania and manages several affiliate units and special-purpose entities, including Goodwill of Fayette County; Goodwill of North Central West Virginia; Goodwill Commercial Services, Inc.; and Goodwill Housing. Goodwill SWPA operates 31 retail stores and several other businesses to help fund programs and to provide job training and related services to help clients overcome various barriers to employment. It has over 1,100 employees and in 2014 provided services to over 53,000 individuals. 

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