Working with employers to improve employment opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome


To read on Globe News Wire website:

MDSC Pilots Regional Events to Educate Employers About Hiring People with Disabilities

« Diversify Your Workforce » Events Launching in June

| Source: Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress

BURLINGTON, Mass., May 31, 2016 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress and the state’s Regional Employment Collaboratives are launching a series of regional workshops around the state to educate employers and human resources professionals on ways to expand their workforce by hiring people with disabilities.

The forums, which are launching in early June with events in Boston’s North Shore and Central Massachusetts, represent the next phase of the MDSC’s Your Next Star public awareness campaign, which has been opening the eyes of employers to the immeasurable value of people with Down syndrome and other disabilities in the workplace. The forums will continue throughout the fall in other regions of the state, including Greater Boston, South Shore and Cape Cod and Western Massachusetts.

« Local businesses have shown a boost in their competitive edge by making people with disabilities an integral part of their workforce and customer base, » said MDSC Communications Director Josh Komyerov. « However, people with disabilities have historically faced enormous hurdles when getting jobs. »

« We are excited to discuss with employers how they can access this untapped job pool to find qualified candidates and answer all their questions, » said Don Hughes, a Vice-President at Riverside Community Care, which runs five of the state’s employment collaboratives.

The « Diversify Your Workforce » events include a mix of experts and « regular » people who will help employers understand how business make disability hiring work for them:

  • Model employers like Home Depot, CVS, Mutual of Omaha and Dave & Busters explaining the nuts and bolts of hiring people with disabilities and why it’s been good for their business
  • Top disability attorneys speaking to the ins and outs of hiring someone with disabilities
  • State legislators and administration officials explaining the state’s efforts to create inclusive workforce environments.
  • Individuals with Down syndrome and other disabilities speaking personally about their own experiences, successes and challenges

Employers and HR professionals may register for the June 2 event at the RJ Kelly office building in Burlington, Mass. at to reserve a space.

Registration for the Central Mass event at the Milford National Bank Headquarters on June 9 in Milford, Mass. is available at These workshops are free and lunch is provided. Seats are limited for both events.

About the MDSC

For more than three decades, the MDSC has been the premier organization for Down syndrome information, networking and advocacy in Massachusetts. The MDSC offers a broad array of programs to serve people with Down syndrome and their families throughout the state, including: Parents First Call, Advocates in Motion, Self Advocate Advisory Council, Annual Conference, Educators Forum, Adult Conference & social and recreation events, Allen Crocker Self-Advocate Internship Program, Your Next Star employment campaign, and advocacy on a State and National level.

About MA Regional Employment Collaboratives

Massachusetts is home to a number of Regional Employment Collaboratives, five of which are services of Riverside Community Care working to improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. (…)

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Market Basket, a place where it’s good to work

To read on Wilmington Apple website:

Market Basket Recognized As “Employer of the Year” By Down Syndrome Organization


WORCESTER, MA — The Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress recently named Market Basket as its “Employer of the Year,” praising the chain’s inclusive hiring process.

The award was presented to Market Basket at the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress’s 32nd Annual Conference at the DCU Center in Worcester on Saturday, March 19.

“Market Basket, the Massachusetts-based supermarket chain, has long had a reputation of treating its 25,000 employees fairly, with good pay, benefits and working conditions,” said MDSC Communications Director Josh Komyerov, prior to handing out the award. “What is less well known is that Market Basket’s commitment to fairness and quality of life extends of people in the [Down Syndrome] community, who have historically been excluded entirely from the American economy… Market Basket has created an environment which is mutually beneficial for the company and its employees with Down Syndrome.”

Philip Donahue, a 20-year Market Basket employee with Down Syndrome and a member of the MDSC Self Advocate Advisory Council member, assisted Komyerov with the introduction.  Donahue called Market Basket “the best place to work for” and stressed that he “loves his bosses.”  “I’m not just a bagger there,” noted Donahue, “I’m a customer services assistant.”

Market Basket managers Dan Riley and and Gary Sessa were present to accept the award.

“At Market Basket, we believe that no one associate is more important than the other. Ever associate plays an intricate role in serving our customers.  We work together as a team. Together, everyone achieves more,” said Market Basket manager Dan Riley.  “We are honored to have the Massachusetts Down Syndrome Congress as part of the Market Basket team.”


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