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September 25, 2014

CONTACT:Melanie Mowry Etters
Communications Director
(850) 414-7551

State to Name Exceptional Employers

Tallahassee -The state of Florida is recognizing seven businesses on Wednesday, October 1, for being outstanding employers of people with disabilities. 

The annual awards celebration will be held at the Tallahassee City Commission Chambers, 300 South Adams Street, as part of recognizing October as Disability Employment Awareness Month. An informational expo begins at 8:30 a.m., with the employer awards ceremony from 9:30-10:30 a.m. This free event is open to the public.

Agency for Persons with Disabilities, Blind Services, and Vocational Rehabilitation will present the Exceptional Employer Awards to honor businesses from all over the state for their commitment to hiring people with disabilities. Event sponsors are The Able Trust, City of Tallahassee, and RESPECT of Florida.

APD Director Barbara Palmer said, "We are excited about recognizing these seven Florida businesses who are giving individuals with disabilities a chance to prove themselves. People with disabilities are great employees and consistently provide a substantial return on their company’s investment in them. This is a great opportunity to share how valuable investing in individuals with disabilities can be for businesses.”

Publix employee Graham Glover and Sonic Restaurant employee Stacy Powell will share what having a job means to them. Other speakers include Executive Director of the Governor’s Commission on Jobs for Floridians with Disabilities David Darm, Department of Economic Opportunity Director Jesse Panuccio, Tallahassee Mayor John Marks, and Florida Association of Rehabilitation Facilities President and CEO Suzanne Sewell.

APD supports people with developmental disabilities to live, learn, and work in their communities.  The agency annually serves more than 50,000 Floridians with autism, cerebral palsy, spina bifida, intellectual disabilities, Down syndrome, and Prader-Willi syndrome. For more information about the Agency for Persons with Disabilities, visit or call toll-free 1-866-APD-CARES (1-866-273-2273).