Disability employment advocate Randy Lewis to speak at OU
As part of its Evening Enrichment Series, the Oakland University Center for Autism’s Outreach Services (OUCARES) will welcome guest speaker Randy Lewis to campus for an engaging talk on helping individuals with autism and other developmental disabilities pursue competitive employment opportunities.
The event, which is presented in collaboration with On My Own of Michigan, Inc., will be held from 6-7:30 p.m. on Tuesday, May 10, in the Oakland Center Gold Rooms.
Lewis, a retired Walgreens executive, is an author, advocate and father of a son with autism. Michigan Supreme Court Justice Richard Bernstein will provide a special introduction and welcome at the event.
In his talk, titled “Are You Ready? New Opportunities in Tomorrow’s Workplace,” Lewis will discuss barriers that people with intellectual and developmental disabilities face in the workplace, as well as ways to overcome those barriers and gain competitive employment.
“Adults with autism and other disabilities often have a very difficult time obtaining and maintaining employment,” said OUCARES Director Kristin Rohrbeck. “It is important for OUCARES to put a spotlight on this issue in an effort to not only bring awareness, but also to help solve the problem. Randy Lewis offers an effective, practical solution that can be socially responsible and financially beneficial for companies.”
As Walgreens’ Senior Vice President of Supply Chain and Logistics, Lewis pioneered a model that resulted in a more inclusive and effective workforce for the company. Today, more than 10 percent of the Walgreens’ logistics workforce is made up of individuals with disabilities who perform the same jobs, earn the same pay and are held to the same performance standards as fellow team members. The program has been hailed as the “gold standard of disability employment” by the National Governors Association and has been replicated at several other major companies.
Lewis wrote about his personal and professional experiences in his 2014 book “No Greatness Without Goodness,” which was included on Fast Company magazine’s list of “10 New Books You Need to Read This Year.”
Sponsored by INCOE Corporation, Fifth Third Bank and the Neelam-Popat Mistry Memorial Foundation, the event is free and open to the public.