How One Company's Extraordinary Workforce Changed the Way We Look at Disability Today (BenBella Books)
Able! tells the inspiring story of Habitat International Inc., a global indoor-outdoor rug manufacturer where three of every four workers have a physical or mental disability, or both. At Habitat, people with schizophrenia drive forklifts next to those with Down syndrome, autism and cerebral palsy. Hearing-impaired employees cut floor mats alongside co-workers who have endured strokes, severe head injuries, or loss of an arm. For the past 25 years, the company’s owner has been hiring people with disabilities, urging other entrepreneurs to do the same thing, and defying the naysayers who said it couldn’t be done.
The result: A multi-million-dollar corporation whose special-needs workers outproduce the nearest competitor 2-1.
Click on book cover to purchase Able!
Able! chronicles the joys and challenges of managing a business with “different” employees, shares the heartwarming stories of workers who refused to be stereotyped, and offers advice for employers who fear they’ll lose money by hiring people with disabilities. This book will change the way you think about business — and the people around you.
“I’ve witnessed a lot of evolution in the thinking of nonprofit providers about how to best serve people with disabilities. But I don’t think anything or anyone has led me to challenge the status quo as much as the story of David Morris and Habitat International.”
—GEORGE W. KESSINGER
Past President / CEO, Goodwill Industries International
“Habitat International is a living affirmation and example of career possibilities for all people with disabilities. … Most of these wounded veterans are young men or women (who) need inspiration—examples of people with severe disabilities who do go on to live productive and satisfying lives. And they need employers, such as Habitat and David Morris, who stand ready to offer much-needed and much-welcomed opportunities and support.”
—THE HONORABLE THOMAS J. RIDGE
Chairman, National Organization on Disability (NOD), First Secretary of Homeland Security
“[At Habitat International], a disability was just like an ability—it just was. Here, neither was a source of shame or pride. A wave of emotion and excitement washed over me. In a flash, ‘inclusion’ took on new meaning and skyrocketed from an intellectual concept to an urgent longing.”
Senior Vice President of Logistics, Walgreens
From the foreword of Able!
© 2015 Nancy Henderson. All rights reserved. Photo by Ray Helman.