A national effort to encourage businesses to employ workers with disabilities is not your father’s hire the handicapped campaign.
A print ad from a new campaign using comical labels, intended to encourage employers to ignore labels when hiring people with disabilities.
One difference is that the new ads are paid rather than pro bono, with an estimated budget of $4 million for the first two quarters of 2010. The ads will appear on television, in print, online and outdoors; there is also a sponsorship deal with NPR.
The ads are being financed largely by agencies in 30 states that provide employment services as well as health and human services to their citizens who are disabled.
Typically, ads that seek to make a case for employing people with disabilities run as public service announcements. That makes them dependent on the kindness of media outlets to place them prominently on television, in print or online.
“We’ll never have enough money to oversaturate the media,” said Barbara Otto, executive director at Health and Disability Advocates in Chicago, which is overseeing the campaign, “but we wanted to do something different, something that didn’t look like a P.S.A.”