Headlines — CVS, Red Cross, AT&T Foundation

Circa 2008
Title Headlines


CVS, Dept. of Labor Ink Pact

The U.S. Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and CVS Caremark Corporation have established a two-year pact to promote employment of people with disabilities.

“Hiring, retaining and advancing employees with disabilities is just good business,” said Karen M. Czarnecki, acting assistant secretary of labor. ODEP falls under the Labor Department.

“ODEP and CVS Caremark will share information, guidance and resources that will help to develop model programs for other employers, particularly in the retail and pharmacy services industries,” she added.

Throughout the two-year alliance, CVS Caremark and ODEP agree to jointly distribute training and education materials to the company’s human resource leaders, along with information on disability employment practices. The two entities will collaborate to identify resources to support workplace accommodations.

They plan to disseminate information that promotes a national dialogue on disability-employment issues. A team comprised of representatives from both ODEP and CVS are at work on a series of related initiatives.

“CVS Caremark is pleased to form an alliance with ODEP, which will help us in our commitment to developing an inclusive, diverse company,” said V. Michael Ferdinandi, the company’s senior vice president of human resources. “We look forward to working together to recruit and train people with disabilities-and help put them on solid career paths at CVS Caremark.”

CVS employs about 190,000 people at its 6,200 retail and specialty pharmacies, 11 mail-service pharmacies and 14 call centers.


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The World Institute on Disability (WID) and the American Red Cross recently announced an innovative national training, awareness and action program to help Red Cross staff and volunteers better serve people with disabilities during a crisis. The program will be funded through a $300,000 Verizon Foundation grant.

Following Hurricane Katrina, the Red Cross saw a need to improve outreach and response to vulnerable populations, such as people with disabilities, the elderly, children and low-income communities.

WID and the Red Cross will set up a pilot program in one of 10 targeted locations across the country that could be hit by a major disaster. The pilot location has yet to be selected, but Chicago, Houston, New Orleans and New York will be training sites.

Once the pilot program is complete, the Red Cross will expand the training to all 10 locations to teach 200-300 staff members and volunteers how to better serve people with disabilities in emergency preparedness and disaster response. The WID also will develop disability resource directories for each location, including information on local community-based disability organizations.


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Better Web Access For Visually Impaired

The AT&T Foundation, the corporate philanthropy organization of AT&T Inc. recently announced a $25,000 grant to the American Foundation for the Blind (AFB) to expand access to affordable speech and screen-magnification products for adults with vision loss or low vision.

Traditional screen-access technologies for reading computer output aloud and/or magnifying the text on the screen have revolutionized the way that blind and visually impaired individuals are able to use the Internet. However, the technology is often pricey and requires expensive specialized instruction that can be difficult to obtain. The AT&T grant will allow AFB to evaluate and identify low-cost, easy-to-use technology that helps visually impaired people and people with eye diseases, such as macular degeneration and glaucoma, access the Internet.

AFB TECH experts will evaluate 10 of the newest, most affordable screen-reading technology programs. The two or three highest-rated programs will be sent to the AFB Center on Vision Loss in Dallas, where they will remain available for visitors to test and determine what works best for them.



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