Carmel-based BraunAbility is partnering with Old National Bank (Nasdaq: ONB) to create a mentorship program to help college students with disabilities.
The manufacturer of wheelchair lifts and accessible vans says the program is an extension of BraunAbility’s Drive for Inclusion effort.
The initiative is pushing for a more inclusive work culture in Indiana, especially for people with physical disabilities.
“Our ability to innovate, grow and change more lives depends on our willingness to embrace the differences that make each of us individually unique. Together they make us stronger,” said Staci Kroon, BraunAbility chief executive officer.
Kroon says students will gain networking skills, career guidance and professional skills, while the mentor will experience first-hand the importance and advantage of having an inclusive work culture.
The Evansville-based bank already has a similar program in place called Old National Bank’s Achieve Ability program. It offers mentorship opportunities for aspiring professionals with disabilities to connect and interact with bank executives.
“BraunAbility is the perfect partner to help expand this program and benefit more students and businesses throughout Indiana,” said Jim Ryan, chairman and CEO of Old National. “Together we can make an even greater impact of inclusiveness within our communities.”
The companies say the mentor-student teams will be formed based on compatibility and shared interests, as well as professional goals.
In July, BraunAbility issued its first-ever Drive for Inclusion Report Card to coincide with the 30th anniversary of the American with Disabilities Act. The report card was based on surveys with the general population and The Driving Force, the company’s online community of people with mobility impairments and their caregivers.
Of the people with mobility disabilities, 15% said they are satisfied with the current effectiveness of ADA laws.
It showed 68% of the public believes people with mobility challenges are fairly accommodated in society, but only 23% of The Driving Force community agreed.
To learn more about the Drive for Inclusion program, click here.