International Day of Disabled Persons
3 December 1998
Independent Living of Persons with Disabilities
(United Nations, 3 December 1998)
New Approaches to Work Around the World.
Extract of statement by Mr. Rex Davidson, Executive Director,
Goodwill Industries of the Greater New York Area
The activities of Goodwill Industries (http://www.goodwill.org)
around the world are based on a set of Core Values and respond to certain Challenges.
- Every Person has value.
- Work adds meaning and purpose to life.
- Every person should have the opportunity to work!
- There is dignity in all useful occupations.
- As Dr. Martin Luther King has observed, "If a man is called to be a street sweeper,
he should sweep streets even as Michelangelo painted, or Beethoven composed music, or
Shakespeare wrote poetry. He should sweep streets so well that all the hosts of heaven and
earth will pause to say, here lived a great street sweeper who did his job well."
- Create a world where all people are given the opportunity to work based on their
nothing else. "A chance, not charity", Dr. Edgar Helms (founder
of Goodwill Industries). - Eliminate barriers for all people. - Create independence, not
- Encourage equal opportunity legislation similar to the Americans with Disabilities Act
of the United States in all countries [in which Goodwill Industries work].
- Insure that education and job training is equally available to people with disabilities.
- Stimulate economic activity resulting in job creation.
Activities of Goodwill Industries International (GII) and creation of a new non-profit
corporation called Global Goodwill, Inc. (GGI).
- The mission of GGI is to encourage and support the development of effective
organisations, strategic business alliances and innovative collaborations to create
training and employment opportunities for persons with disabilities and other barriers to
[their] employment. GGI may also offer services and operate enterprises that will assist
in the accomplishment of this mission.
- "GGI will focus on strategic alliances with corporations, non-governmental
organisations, foundations, and Governments. It is enterprise-based and entrepreneurial in
it is critical to articulate how we will measure GGI's success - not by the
former international standards of how many associate members we have but rather the number
of people throughout the world who receive vocational opportunities who otherwise might
not have received such benefits.
the GGI role seems to be one of matchmaker/facilitator and a developer of
- "By June 2002, the time of the Goodwill Industries' Centennial Celebration,
Goodwill Global, Inc. will have provided directly or through relationships with other
entities, work opportunities for 10,000 people with disabilities or other barriers to
employment who live outside of the United States and Canada."
- GGI's strategies include:
- Promoting industries run by and for people with disabilities.
- Pursuing projects with industries that could include special recruitment and placement
efforts, enclaves, contract work, employment opportunities with special supports, among
- Supporting temporary [employment] agencies that specialise in [working with] people with
disabilities (for instance, "Good Temps").
- Promoting [small-scale] cottage industries and small businesses that are run or owned by
people with disabilities.
- Supporting people with disabilities who work from home utilising computer technology.
Computer technologies may allow many individuals with severe physical disabilities to work