Americans with Disabilities Act

Media Contacts:
Christianne Ray, community relations manager for Goodwill Southern California, 323.539.2095 or

People with Disabilities Are Earning Jobs with Goodwill’s Help Goodwill® Commemorates the 20th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Los Angeles, July 20, 2010 – For decades, Goodwill® has helped people with disabilities find employment, become independent and support themselves and their families. Since the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) was signed into law on July 26, 1990, it has helped increase access to goods and services, such as employment opportunities for people with disabilities, and prohibit employment discrimination. Although individuals with disabilities have benefited from this law, Goodwill knows that those individuals still face challenges to finding jobs and becoming independent. According to the U.S. Department of Labor, people with disabilities have a more than 14-percent unemployment rate, compared to 9.4 percent of people without disabilities .

According to the ADA, National Network, there are more than 54 million people or nearly one in six Americans who have some form of physical or mental impairment that substantially limits their daily activities, including working, walking, seeing, hearing or caring for themselves.  (This statistic was calculated from the U.S. Census’s population total of 309,665,442 divided by 54 million, which equals 5.72 or nearly one in six.)

“Despite these circumstances, people with disabilities have unique skills and talents that add to the diversity and vitality of a workplace,” said Douglas Barr, president and CEO of Goodwill Southern California. “Many people with disabilities need little to no accommodation to do their jobs, and advances in technology are helping to increase productivity for all kinds of workers, including those with disabilities.”

Goodwill agencies offer a variety of services to help people with disabilities be independent and fully participate in their communities.

In 2009, Goodwill Southern California served over 1,300 people with disabilities through programs such as Work Activity, which provides individualized support, counseling, and training in an environment where individuals learn work appropriate behavior and job skills.  When additional support is needed, the Supported Employment program provides intensive training and ongoing supervision at the worksite. Additionally, GSC’s Deaf Services Center offers personal vocational social adjustment services (PVSA) for individuals with hearing disabilities.

“Goodwill commemorates the 20th anniversary of the signing of the ADA by continuing to help our friends and neighbors with disabilities build their careers and improve their lives,” said Barr. “We must look past a person’s disability and remember that each person is an individual capable of making a positive contribution to his or her community.”

About Goodwill Southern California
Since 1916, Goodwill has been turning donations and retail purchases into good jobs that have led to brighter futures for thousands of people with disabilities and vocational challenges. More than 59,000 people benefited from Goodwill Southern California’s (GSC) education, job training and placement programs last year. GSC operates 65 retail stores, 42 attended donation centers, three campuses and 24 community-based career resource centers in the counties of Los Angeles (north of Rosecrans Ave.), Riverside and San Bernardino.

For more information about Goodwill and its programs, please call
1 (888) 4-GOODWILL or visit

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