Arkansas Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities

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Preaching to the Choir By Jon Taylor

Over the last several weeks I’ve had the privilege to speak about Competitive, Integrated Employment to audiences across Arkansas (Zoom and in person!). Every group asked great questions, offered powerful insights, and shared some very personal experiences. In every group I spoke with there were employers who were already practicing inclusive hiring. And those employers all told me the same thing: “We get it! We’re living it every day. You’re preaching to the choir!”

There’s nothing wrong with preaching to the choir. As a speaker it’s always nice to have a receptive audience.  But preaching to the choir means you are likely sharing a message that’s not new to them.

To reach a larger audience there are two options: Go person by person or recruit a larger, louder choir. A single voice alone can be powerful but may only be heard by whoever is in the room. Multiple voices, in unison, can carry beyond a single room. A large enough choir has the power to draw new people inside to hear their message.

October was all about disability employment awareness. But the core message of inclusion, integration and independence applies to more than just work. It applies to every part of life. Someone with intellectual and developmental disabilities wants to work, play, and live just as much as the next person. But invariably, there are barriers.

One person, with one voice, can move one barrier. Multiple people, with one voice can do more than move a barrier, they can make it away. That’s power of the choir.

In regard to the inclusive hiring choir in Arkansas, we’d like to hear your voice. Complete our employment survey. Make sure you’re heard. To take the survey, click on this link:

Find your voice, join the choir, and see what can change when you’re not alone..

We have extended our survey through the end of the year, 12/31/2021! 

About the Arkansas Governor's Council on Developmental Disabilities

The Council is a federally funded state agency that promotes integration, inclusion and independence for Arkansans with developmental disabilities. Council members are self-advocates, relatives and/or caregivers of individuals with DD, state agency directors, and representation from nonprofit and private organizations. The Council works to encourage self-advocacy; to remove barriers to information, services and support; to advocate for policy changes; to develop and support coalitions; and to educate community leaders. For more information about the Governor’s Council on Developmental Disabilities and its mission, browse more pages on this website, or call 501-682-2897. Follow the Council on Facebook and Twitter @gcddar. You can also find Arkansas GCDD on YouTube.