ABILITY Awards — We Like You, We Really Like You

Circa 2010

For nearly twenty years, this publication has championed the emphasis of ability both inside and outside of the workplace. Now, with the ABILITY Magazine Best Practices Award, we are pleased to shed light on corporations who share in our core philosophy. This award is designed to single out and celebrate those business practices that have a high level of commitment to inclusion and ingenuity, demonstrate positive results in their efforts, and possess the potential to inspire other organizations. It is through such practices that an organization becomes a leader in its market, improves employee morale and strengthens community relations. This issue, we are proud to recognize Proctor & Gamble and Microsoft as recipients of the ABILITY Magazine Best Practices Award.

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Through its Cincinnatti-based People with Disabilities Leadership Network, Procter & Gamble’s (P&G) spirit of inclusion and involvement sets an example for businesses large and small by tackling issues of accommodation and support that are vital to the full success of any business. P&G’s admirable focus on actively recruiting employees with disabilities and on identifying and working to meet the needs of each of its many diverse employees have been keys to its success as a multinational corporation.

Additionally, as a proud partner of the 2010 US Paralympic Team, P&G defrayed the cost of travel and accommodations for every mother of an US Paralympic athlete, allowing some of America’s most gifted and tenacious competitors to bask in success alongside the women who raised them for greatness. The effort was just one element of P&G’s ‘Thank You, Mom’ program, which also donated one US dollar to Team USA for each mother thanked at thankyoumom.com.

As the fourth largest company in the United States by market capitalization, P&G continues to prove that its most formidable strengths lie in attention to detail and in creating the best possible environment for its body of talent.

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Since its inception in 1975, Microsoft has established itself as a pioneering force in computer technology and has steadily grown to become an integral part of how productivity is accomplished at homes and businesses across the globe. Perhaps less well-known, however, is Microsoft’s focused dedication to the integration of accessibility in its product planning, product development, research, and program testing. Microsoft truly recognizes that people with disabilities, as one of the largest minority groups on the planet, are a powerful resource in any workspace and are integral to the success of any corporation. At Microsoft, programs and products aren’t merely retrofitted to accommodate people with vision, language, or hearing impairments, they’re designed with inclusion in mind from the very beginning.

Accessibility for all of its users and clients remains a key component of Microsoft’s Trustworthy Computing initiative, which focuses on integrity and responsibility in the company’s business practices and product designs. Microsoft’s groundbreaking, innovative work in the areas of speech technology, natural language processing, and adaptive systems and interaction, as well as in a host of other accommodations, have kept the corporation at the cutting edge of technology while helping each client realize his maximum potential. With its unique blend of ingenuity, practicality, and inclusiveness, Microsoft continues to give new meaning to the term “user-friendly.”

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