A BYU service group is asking students to pledge their support to a national campaign raising awareness for the employment of people with disabilities. The on-campus Best Buddies chapter will hold a booth in the Wilkinson Student Center on Wednesday to allow students to learn about and pledge support to a campaign called “I’m in to Hire.”
“I’m in to Hire” is a campaign that asks people to pledge their support for businesses who employ people with intellectual and development disabilities. Best Buddies International founded the campaign in 2014, and BYU students manned a booth last year to promote the cause.
The Best Buddies chapter at BYU is participating in the campaign again on Oct. 28, 2015. It will station a booth in the Wilkinson Student Center and take pictures of the pledged students, which will be posted to Best Buddies’ social media accounts.
Hayley Worsham, chapter secretary and junior at BYU, said the campaign helps people understand the importance of fair hiring and inclusivity.
“It shows to the world that we don’t discriminate based on categorizations that people have been put into and that BYU is an inclusive environment,” Worsham said. “We want to promote that.”
BYU junior and chapter co-president Emma Pusey said she knows Best Buddies program participants who found jobs in the Cougareat and other on-campus locations.
These workers bring business benefits to their employers through their enthusiasm and strong work ethic, according to Pusey.
“A lot of businesses will find that people with intellectual and development disorders tend to be really committed and really hard workers,” Pusey said. “They’re just so happy to have a job and feel like they’re contributing to the community.”
73 percent of businesses with intellectually disabled employees have a positive experience with these workers, according to a Best Buddies International report online. 89 percent of the employers said their intellectually disabled employees were dependable, and most of them rated the employees’ performance factors as good or very good.
“It should be more of a normal thing to see employed people with intellectual and developmental disabilities,” Pusey said. “I see these individuals the same as anyone else, and hopefully this campaign will promote that to other people.”