At the Walgreens DC in Anderson, S.C., which opened in June of 2007, 40 percent of the workers have physical or cognitive disabilities. Walgreens found that people with disabilities are as diverse as “able-bodied” associates in term of abilities, needs, and attitudes.
Their experience has shown that an integrated workforce is not just as good, it is better. Randy Lewis, SVP of Distribution & Logistics, has been quoted as saying “It has brought out the best in all of us”. To view a brief video report that NBC News did go to www.youtube.com and look for the title “Walgreens Rocks”.
As part of their program, Walgreens converted its computer displays from lines of type to touch screens with a few icons. It persuaded vendors to include more information in bar codes on merchandise, so that employees wouldn't have to enter so much data themselves. It redesigned work stations so that people don't have to stretch as far, and it added help buttons to summon assistance. And yes, it provided lots of on the job operational and safety training.
In order fulfillment, you may be using pick-to-light, put-to-light, or voice directed picking technologies. These are all user-friendly methods that offer good potential for successful employment of the handicapped.
It’s not that this is a new concept or even a new trend. Disabled workers have long been employed successfully in warehousing and distribution operations. You can get lots of important information on hiring people with disabilities from the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) by going to their website at www.dol.gov.