October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month, and office manager Steve Schwell knows just how to bring that awareness to his staff of 75 at the Very Fine Pencil Corporation. He has hung large, colorful posters of random people with disabilities all around the office and the attached warehouse.
“I’m sure that looking at pictures of disabled people doing such inspirational activities will inspire Very Fine’s employees to work harder at their jobs every day, and to be grateful that they are not disabled and are able to work,” he said enthusiastically.
The posters included pictures of people in wheelchairs playing basketball, people with Down syndrome on the set of major television series, Deaf children signing in a classroom with their teacher, and a guy doing a puzzle while wearing a shirt covered in puzzle pieces with the words “Autism! Puzzles! Yay!” printed on it in fluorescent green letters.
“It’s so sad!” Sylvia Smith opined, looking at the picture of a man with Down syndrome dressed in an old-fashioned coat and hat. “Look at how they are forced to dress, like they’re from another century!”
Roland Chen, however, was confused. “That’s Daniel Laurie,” he said of the photo. “He’s a famous actor. That’s him in a costume … from the 1960s.”
Smith and Schwell, however, were too busy to notice as they were cooing over a photo of a little girl with a prosthetic leg on a racetrack that included the caption, “The only disability in life is a bad attitude.”
“It’s just too bad that she could never get a job,” Schwell said sadly. “I mean, who would hire a disabled person? I’m not prejudiced, but it wouldn’t be me, because, you know, it would be too hard. We might have to follow some laws. Or move something. But I give to charity, so it’s all right.”