Recognized for outstanding efforts to employ people with disabilities

Washington, DC (May 9, 2013) – United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) is proud to announce that Publix Supermarkets in Lakeland, Florida has been awarded the 2013 Employer of the Year Award as part of UCP’s Awards for Excellence celebration.

Presented at UCP’s 2013 Annual Conference in San Diego, CA, the Awards for Excellence recognize UCP affiliates, individuals and companies whose exceptional activities, achievements and dedication exemplify the UCP mission to educate, advocate and provides support services to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities.

The Employer of the Year Award recognizes a business or agency that has made an outstanding contribution to employing people with physical disabilities or has supported the training and hiring of people with disabilities, and created an improved work environment. Employees with disabilities must be fully integrated into all aspects of the workplace.

Nominated by UCP of Central Florida in recognition of their long relationship with the company, Publix Supermarkets in Lakeland, Florida has demonstrated a commitment to diversity and helping people reach their full potential through meaningful employment. Publix sets a precedent for all workers to respect diversity and to be mindful of disabilities, including requiring all managers to attend diversity workshops entitled “Developing Cultural Competence.” In addition, diversity training and disability awareness are incorporated into new associate trainings, creating an inclusive and understanding community where everyone is valued.

“Publix fosters a workplace environment with a strong commitment to diversity,” said Senior Vice President John Hrabusa. “I’m proud to accept this award on behalf of our managers who embrace inclusiveness and are dedicated to providing successful employment opportunities to people with disabilities.”

“Publix sets an impressive standard in the areas of diversity and employing people with and without disabilities,” said Dr. Ilene E. Wilkins, President and CEO of UCP of Central Florida. “Our goal at United Cerebral Palsy is for all people to have the ability to live life without limits. Publix provides that opportunity to thousands in their company, helping make a significant shift in our cultural views on employing people with disabilities.”

“UCP is proud to honor Publix Supermarkets for their efforts to create an inclusive work environment that only sees abilities, not differences. They have fostered a community of strong relationships and a culture of opportunity for employees with disabilities, who are able to take positions where they grow and can perform best,” said Stephen Bennett, former President and CEO of UCP. “This is an issue of critical importance, as the unemployment rate for people with disabilities is nearly double that of general population—and Publix stands as an example of what can be done by corporate citizens in the civil rights movement for people with disabilities.”

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About United Cerebral Palsy

United Cerebral Palsy (UCP) educates, advocates and provides support services through an affiliate network to ensure a life without limits for people with a spectrum of disabilities. Together with nearly 100 affiliates, UCP has a mission to advance the independence, productivity and full citizenship of people with disabilities by supporting more than 176,000 children and adults every day—one person at a time, one family at a time. UCP works to enact real change—to revolutionize care, raise standards of living and create opportunities—impacting the lives of millions living with disabilities. For more than 60 years, UCP has worked to ensure the inclusion of individuals with disabilities in every facet of society. Together, with parents and caregivers, UCP will continue to push for the social, legal and technological changes that increase accessibility and independence, allowing people with disabilities to dream their own dreams, for the next 60 years, and beyond. For more information, please visit www.ucp.org.