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Miami receives award for employing people with disabilities

Miami University received the 2019 Opportunities for Ohioans with Disabilities (OOD) Employer Partner of Inclusion Gold Award in September. 

OOD is an organization based in Columbus that helps people with disabilities become employed and develop independence.  This is Miami’s second year receiving an OOD award. The university was given the Champion of Opportunity Award in 2017, which honored Miami’s effort to hire OOD job seekers particularly that year. 

OOD gives employer partnership awards at four levels — silver, gold, platinum and champion. To be considered for such award, the employer partner must employ five OOD members within a one-year evaluation period. Other factors for the award include recruitment of Ohioans with disabilities, providing employee awareness and etiquette training and fostering a healthy work environment. 

The Office of Equity and Equal Opportunity didn’t respond to The Miami Student’s requests for data on how many people with disabilities the university employs.

Kim Jump, OOD’s chief of communications, said the number of recipients varies each year depending on how many partnerships meet the certain inclusion and diversity criteria for the awards. Miami is one of nine employer partners to receive the gold level for 2019. 

“We appreciate the partnership Miami University has with us at OOD,” Jump said. “We’d like to offer sincere gratitude and appreciation to Miami University for their commitment to establishing and growing a culture of diversity and inclusion in the workplace for individuals with disabilities.”

Theresa Murphy, director of employment at Miami, said the employment process is the same for all individuals seeking a job at the university, and accommodations for such jobs are only granted if specifically asked. 

“We think that having a diverse workforce, whether if it’s with disabilities or race or religion, strengthens [Miami] overall,” Murphy said. “So having employees that reflect that of our students is part of the golden accomplishment at Miami.”

Murphy formally accepted the award Wednesday, Oct. 2 in Sharonville, Ohio, at the OOD Job Fair, where over 200 job-seekers presented themselves to prospective employers. 

“This is an achievement that simply recognizes Miami for what Miami does,” Murphy said. “Which is to promote our employers to be as best as they can possibly be.”

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