Thursday, February 14, 2008

Below is my article for WithTV posted on February 14th:

Several weeks back I wrote about different ways one can identify whether or not a firm is truly committed to hiring people with disabilities. One factor I mentioned was to consider whether or not a firm has an Employee Resource Group for people with disabilities, as the group tends to facilitate and improve employee engagement on disability issues.

If you watched the Super Bowl, you may have learned of one such employee group called EnAble. EnAble is a group within PepsiCo that supports diversity and the inclusion of persons with different abilities.

EnAble created a commercial for the Super Bowl that was performed entirely in sign language and contained subtitles. The spot was created by and features PepsiCo employees who are members of EnAble. The ad is an attempt to demonstrate PepsiCo’s commitment to diversity by airing the first ad using ASL and subtitles only on a national broadcasting network (there was no sound at all).

According to PepsiCo, "this is one way we can give back through what we call Performance with Purpose. It's part of a larger effort to make PepsiCo the defining corporation of the 21st century. By bringing the world an ad performed by deaf employees in ASL, we feel like we've already scored the upset on Super Bowl Sunday."

While the ad may have produced mix feeling among members of our community, one fact remains true -- without a group like EnAble we may never have seen such an ad played during the Super Bowl. Additionally, EnAble opened the door for dialogue about the media’s level of engagement on disability issues, and raises awareness on the importance of corporate hiring practices to include hiring people with disabilities.

If you didn’t catch the ad, check it out below:
(see post Bob's House -- Pepsi's new Super Bowl Ad -- January 27th)

Description of Ad:
Two guys in a pickup truck (one’s drinking a Pepsi) are headed to a Super Bowl party hosted by their friend Bob, but they stop on the darkened upper-middle-class street after neither one remembers which house is his.

The two spend a bit of time arguing before the driver gets an idea and repeatedly honks the horn. House lights begin to pop on as they slowly work through the neighborhood, honking along the way.

They stop at the only house that remains dark and the driver declares, “That’s it!”
“Yeah, ya think?” the passenger replies sarcastically.

They walk up and ring Bob’s doorbell, prompting Bob’s foyer light to flash three times. Bob lets the pair in, and the passenger gives a quick “Sorry” to a puzzled neighbor before walking inside.

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