Transcript #69: Educating, Employing and Empowering Persons With Disabilities

Human Potential at Work Podcast Show Flyer for Episode 69: Educating, Employing and Empowering Persons With Disabilities

Human Potential at Work Podcast Show Flyer for Episode 69: Educating, Employing and Empowering Persons With Disabilities


Guest: John Kemp                             Guest Title: President and CEO

Date: August 23rd, 2017            Guest Company: The Viscardi Center

 

[Intro Music]

 

Debra Ruh:           Hello everyone. This is Debra Ruh, and you are watching or listening to Human Potential at Work. Very excited to have a good friend of mine. He’s been a long-time mentor and just an amazing man, John Kemp joining the program today. I’m looking forward to have a very lively discussion, so John, welcome to the program.

John Kemp:          Thank you Debra, it’s an honor to be with you.

Debra Ruh:           John, it would be hard for me to imagine that everybody watching or listening does not already know who you are because I just, you are just such a hero to me, sorry, but in case they don’t, tell the audience a little bit about who John Kemp is.

John Kemp:          Well, thank you. I’m a humble guy, so I really have a hard time talking about myself but I will be glad to tell you a bit.

                                    I’ve grown up with my disability, born without arms and legs, off with the elbows and the knees, got artificial arms when I was two and legs when I was three and was in public school kindergarten at age four in North Dakota. That has two seasons. That’s a winter and the Fourth of July, just so you know. Appreciate how much snow there is up there, but I grew up without a mom.

                                    My mother passed away of ovarian cancer when I was 15 months old, my little sister was 3 months old, and my older sister was 4, so my dad at age 33 was raising three kids, and I have a disability. My sisters do not. But he just made some really wonderful decisions that have affected me and really done right for me all my life, and I’m very grateful to my dad.

                                    He insisted on giving a good education. I went to public school then to a Catholic school in Bismarck, and then we moved to Frankfort, Kentucky and went to a Catholic high school there, got very involved in social life and sports and was student manager of various teams. Was able to go to Georgetown University where I studied history and pre-law, and after that, went out to Kansas and became a lawyer.

                                    Along the way, I served as the National Easter Seal Poster Child, so you always wonder, gosh, what happened to those poster children, and I’m here to tell you that we still are around.

                                    Anyways, it was a great year for me, and I hope it was for Easterseals and everybody else, but we traveled all over the United States and to Australia-

Debra Ruh:           Wow.

John Kemp:          … and really spent a great deal of time. Traveling was one of the great educations, and anybody who can travel should travel to learn about our lives here and other lives there and appreciate all the good things we have.

                                    After law school, worked for the environmental law, environmental protection agency as an environmental lawyer and got very involved in disability rights, law, and became a member of the board of directors of the National Easter Seal Society in Chicago.

                                    Then from there, I just continued to practice law and got more involved on a day-to-day basis with opening my own law practice and consulting firm on disability working with the employers in this world and the governments and trying to bring what I know about disability to them and to get them into compliance as quickly as possible and not to be the advocate arguing with them but to really advise them on how best to achieve inclusion, accessibility, opportunity, and take advantage of the immense number of people with disabilities who could be their employees, could be their customers, could be their, in their supply chain.

                                    That’s really been my life, and here I am at the, having left the law practice in Washington DC to be the President and CEO of The Viscardi Center and Henry Viscardi School on Long Island.

Debra Ruh:           Yes, and there’s so much to that story. I … Easterseals was also very important to my family. Whenever Sara was diagnosed with down syndrome, Easterseals stepped in and really helped my family. We didn’t even know where to turn, and Easterseals was the one that stepped in and made sure we had Sara an early intervention and occupational therapy and speech therapy and physical therapy, so I, like you, I love Easterseals and am very grateful for Easterseals.

                                    What age were you, John, when you were the Easterseals poster child?

John Kemp:          I was 10 years old, which is a little on the old side, but it was really good for me because I could remember a lot that happened during that year. It was very eye-opening because I was the only kid in my school with a disability, so I didn’t think there were very many people with disabilities around, and I just gotta say, I so love and admire your daughter Sara. It’s great that Easterseals played an important role in her life, and I learned about the Saras and the other John Kemps and all the other people in the world and the adults with disabilities. Many people just don’t understand how many of us there really are in trying to get jobs and can access our communities.

Debra Ruh:           Yes, and I think people often forget that disability is just part of being human being. It’s just part of it.

John Kemp:          Absolutely right there, right. It’s a natural part of life. It’s going to happen to somebody. If you don’t already have it in some way or another, if you don’t, you will acquire this ability, and not in a threatening and terrifying way at all. It’s just a natural consequence of life, so it’s to be appreciated, embraced, and lived with, not to be feared.

Debra Ruh:           I was going to say, and to be feared because I know we do talk about it that if you don’t have a disability, just wait, and not, once again, in a fearful way, but these human bodies that we’re in, they’re very fragile, and to decide that over a billion people are broken because they have a disability is really missing the point of what a human being is. That’s why I think your work is so important and also why not only do I admire you but I really admire your father, a 33-year-old man who has lost his wife, and he’s gone through the trauma of watching his wife have ovarian cancer, and then he has three little kids.

                                    One thing, because I’ve heard you speak, which I highly, highly recommend John as a keynote speaker, and I’ve heard you speak all over the world, but I think somehow your father just understanding that he had to make sure you had what you needed to be a whole person and that he didn’t accidentally disable you more, which I think sometimes our parents and our zest to make sure that our children are okay, sometimes we cause more problems. I was wondering if you wouldn’t want to just talk about that a little bit more?

John Kemp:          I think you have such good first-person experience here that you understand this issue so deeply and so well and articulated very well.

                                    To all the parents out there, disability is almost always new. They have somebody maybe in their family that has some type of disability, but it’s probably not the one, of their childs that they’ve just, have given birth to, and they’re totally lost and they don’t know what to do. They really need to find other people like them. They need to find people who like, service provider organizations that can guide them, and definitely maintain control over the decision making about what happens to your child.

                                    My dad listened and took in all the advice he could, and then he would make the decision about whether I was going to go to regular school, go to a crippled children school in North Dakota, which was a hundred miles away and was a residential school, and he said no, he couldn’t imagine that given the many things that I can do in this world and be independent in using the toilets and being able to walk four blocks to school and back in five foot snow … I’m doing a gesture of five foot snow walking around, which just seemed to be there like nine months of the year, but it was, he just made some really great decisions.

                                    He would talk to me about when I got old enough I could tell when people were pimping me out and teasing me and saying inappropriate things, and I’d go to him with, really kind of crying and saying, “What’s going on here? I don’t get it.” He would say, “Who has a handicap and who has a disability?”

Debra Ruh:           Oh, good one.

John Kemp:          He would separate those issues, and he’d say, “You have a disability, they have a handicap, which is a preconceived negative perception of someone with a disability. Those are the people that you have to feel a little sorry for, and you also have a responsibility, almost a duty to try and turn them around, to try and educate them as to all the things that you can do, what you do bring to the world,” and so he really made it kind of like a responsibility of mine. Not to go overboard.

                                    I’ll talk with anybody for two minutes, but if they don’t get on with understanding who I am and seeing me as a human being, and they’re still fixated on, “Oh, you wear prosthesis,” and, “All four,” and, “Aren’t you inspirational and so amazing,” so I have to say … My dad was, kind of, like say, “Nobody’s on a pedestal, and everybody’s equal, and we all present ourselves differently, so just go through life in that way, and if a girl … ” when I got old enough to start dating, and oh my gosh, that was like high anxiety, but it’s also high anxiety for everybody.

Debra Ruh:           For everybody.

John Kemp:          Right? For everybody. I talked to him about that, and he said, “If a girl doesn’t like you because of your disability, then you really don’t want to be with her. But if she doesn’t like you for your, the way you’re acting or talking or being, and she just doesn’t like you, that’s natural-”

Debra Ruh:           Right. That’s different. Right.

John Kemp:          ” … that’s okay.”

Debra Ruh:           Right.

John Kemp:          Anyway, my dad guided me all the way through life and passed away about 9, 10 years ago of complications from Parkinson’s, and then the 10 years or so that he had Parkinson’s, he wouldn’t park in handicapped parking because he thought that was for me, and he didn’t see himself as having Parkinson’s as a disability. It was all about helping other people in his life, and he didn’t want to take somebody else’s spot. He’s a beautiful human being that taught all of us a lot.

Debra Ruh:           Yeah, he … I never had the honor to meet your dad, but I, when I think about a really amazing man, your dad comes right to the top. I just really … I’ve just gotten to know you, and I know your dad was so influential to you, so you know. It’s amazing what we can do, and sometimes, we don’t even realize the impact that we’re going to have so, and-

John Kemp:          I thank you for talking about my dad or ask me to talk about my dad. He really, he did very well professionally, but he was a career government servant, a civil servant at various from county to state government to the federal government to-

Debra Ruh:           Wow.

John Kemp:          … going back to being the Secretary of Transportation for the State of Kansas and had 3,000 people and 300 million dollars in budget responsibilities. He was just a remarkable man.

                                    He married after we have left high school and all of us had gotten out of the home, and he remarried a wonderful woman with whom he lived and had a wonderful life for 37 years. He’s married to our mother for seven years, did not have a partner at all. He dated around a little bit but nobody was ever going to be quite good enough for us, and he was always worried about that. Anyways, but he did find his partner, and it was a really beautiful thing, and I’m really happy for him. He had a very, very good life, but thank you.

Debra Ruh:           I know your wife Sam, and I just think she’s an amazing, amazing woman. It’s just, I think the thing that I love about your father is that your father always just treated like you were John. You’re John. He knew to push you. He knew that you needed to have the tools to be successful, and he was … I just appreciate that he knew to do that because I think so many times, parents don’t know to do that, and so I really applaud him for that.

John Kemp:          Thanks.

Debra Ruh:           I also want to talk a little bit about, you and I have known each other for years, but you were the executive director for the USBLN for few years, and I was on the board of directors. I know, partially, this answer, but John, why do you think that business brands have to be part of this conversation?

                                    I will also say before that, you were one of the authors of the Americans with Disabilities Act, which just celebrated 27 years, and thank goodness you did that because my daughter was born in 18, 18, sorry, in 1987, so three years before President Bush, the first Bush, signed the Americans with Disabilities into law, but tell us more about that journey and why you think businesses, brands need to be a part of these conversations.

John Kemp:          Well, it’s a very wonderful question. We had the Rehab Act of 1973, and we were living with sections 503 and 504, which only applied 503 to federal contractors and 504 to federal financial recipients, and there was still a whole world out there that was not really required to become accessible and inclusive of people with disabilities, so we saw the policy gap, the civil rights gap in the Rehab Act, and knew that we needed an upgrade, so to speak, and we needed to get to an ABA level, which said, really, covered all employers, 15 or more employees after two years of effectiveness.

                                    It really said places of public accommodations, transportation systems, everything that we take for granted as ordinary citizens, we really want to be a part of the community, and to do that, we have to create the civil rights law.

                                    Almost everybody has stepped up to the plate, and I’ll say that in the nicest way possible because I really do mean that. Movie theaters are very responsive to the various hearing needs of individuals. You can get the loop systems for if you can’t hear as well as other people. Blind individuals certainly have lots of, still have lots of needs. The physical access requirements, really, really important, and over time, all of this has changed the landscape of America and the culture of America, so we are much more inclusive than we were 27 years ago.

                                    But I have to tell you that I don’t think we can take a lot of joy and feeling of accomplishment in the area of employment. I think we have not done a very good job, and if you look at the numbers coming out of nTIDES and the Kessler Foundation and they’re reporting on us, I really must say that to have like, in 27 years, a 1% growth in the percentage of people, adults with disabilities who have gained full employment is really sad. It’s really, we really aren’t doing our job.

                                    I think employers suffer from the fearfulness of hiring someone that either they don’t ever want to fire or they just doubt that people have these transferable skills that allow them to be able to work in an office where tasks come and go, responsibilities come and go, and so they’re really worried about making that first hiring decision. We haven’t done a good job.

                                    Then of course, if some of us get into employment and move ourselves up, and we get promoted and promoted and get appreciated for what can bring to the marketplace, for many people with disabilities, the disabilities disappear, and they don’t take pride in their disabilities as CEOs or as chief marketing officers or chief financial officers or any other high-level supervisory management position.

                                    Well, we need people to be out and proud about their disabilities and to let other young people who, we have a school here, know that they can aspire to and attain that higher level of employment. Not every position is an entry-level position. Anyway, we can do better in employment, and we can do better in a lot of areas, but we, at least, are much more participatory than we were 27 years ago.

Debra Ruh:           I agree. Tell us more about The Viscardi Center. I’ve had the pleasure to tour The Viscardi Center several times, and I’m just amazed by the talent of the student body. I’m just … And your team and the teachers and, I’m just amazed what happens at The Viscardi Center.

John Kemp:          Well, thank you. Thank you very much, and you’re always welcome here, and everyone who is watching is welcome here.

                                    We are east of New York City about 20 miles, and it does not take long to get out here. It’s a campus. We have three corporations, one is a parent corporation with The Viscardi Center, a subsidiary called Abilities that serves adolescents and adults with disabilities, and then we have the Henry Viscardi School, which is a freestanding 501(c)(3) school for children with disabilities who are medically fragile and very, very significantly disabled.

                                    Between the parents and the school districts, they make a decision that the placement at the Henry Viscardi School is the best placement for their child. It is not a default position. It is a choice position to come to the Henry Viscardi School, and I like that because if Jewish kids can go to Jewish schools and Catholic boys can go to Catholic boy schools and African Americans can go to historically Black colleges and universities, we have a culture of deafness and disability, and we can make choices about where we want to go to school so that we can become empowered and proud of who we are as people with disabilities, and that’s what happens.

                                    There’s something about the Viscardi way of education and empowerment. Our kids graduate from here and go on, and 82% go to college, which is about 20% higher than all the average of kids across the country with disabilities going off to college, so about 62% go to college today. 82% of our graduates go to college, and they work at a rate of 30% who are employed, our graduates are employed, whereas the average is 20% for the general population of full-time employment.

                                    We’re doing something well and right for the time being. If I look down the road 20 to 30 to 40, 50 years, our school might be filled with other kids without disabilities, or we will continue to serve the most severely disabled individuals so that they don’t have to stay at home and be educated for an hour a day or go into a hospital and be educated for an hour a day.

                                    We have a continuum of services for children from kindergarten, grade school, middle school, high school, and up to age 21 if they haven’t completed their diploma requirements, and then we, through Abilities, provide transition planning services to at least a fourth of the school districts on Long Island so that they’re planning their futures with our help and assistance. They will have employment and training programs and the National Business and Disability Council, which is similar to the USBLN.

Debra Ruh:           Yes.

John Kemp:          [crosstalk 00:21:02] say that hope I didn’t take too long to say all that.

Debra Ruh:           No, no, no, because it’s amazing what’s happening at The Viscardi Center, and so … Also, I know when I toured it, you actually had businesses right there on campus that the students ran. I don’t know if you’re still doing that, but I was … These are actually business locations. Do you mind talking about that a little bit about that because I thought-

John Kemp:          Not at all. I think-

Debra Ruh:           I thought that is such a good idea. It’s such a good idea.

John Kemp:          Well, you know, these kids are going to grow up and do something in this world, and our kids, because of the significance of their disabilities and the severity of their disabilities, I’m probably going to be moving furniture and other things like that. They’re probably going to be working in the digital media space and doing other things, but they can also sell.

                                    We have a retail store that was formed by a grant from the Gap Foundation. We’ve had UPS here. We’ve got Cannon, having a store and really remarkable retail facilities where people coming through here are really learning how to practice the retail trades. We have a culinary skills program where people can become chefs and learn all about food safety and security and go into the world of fine dining and fast food and anything else that they want, quick-serve restaurants. They’re getting a real-life experience right here on our campus.

Debra Ruh:           There are not just training models, these are actually real stores. I remember, I went in and I could go shopping in the Gap store, and I could go into UPS, and I could mail packages. I mean, these are actual locations.

John Kemp:          That’s exactly right. It’s real world, real time, and it’s all accessible so that they can, the accommodations have already been made for them as customers and employees, potential employees, but we do an awful lot of training to help people. They’ll go through seven-week classes and learn all about how to sell, how to practice. It’s great for our kids in school to see the young adults going through these programs. They’re eating with them in the cafeteria, called Café Viscardi, by the way.

                                    Anyway, it’s just a great place. It’s something like fairy dust is sprinkled in the air when people come through, and they really get the fact that these are really bright wonderful people, and that they really deserve an opportunity in this world, and that’s really what we’re preparing them for. Go out into this world, live a full, rich life, and embrace everything.

Debra Ruh:           It appears to me that you’re teaching them to embrace their full humanity and your full humanity, John. You are a lot of different things. You’re a very, like everybody, a multidimensional human being, and the pride that I see and the … I saw you walking through the school and every single kid had to stop and hug you and … I was just very impressed with the energy and the spirit that I felt at the school. I felt so much pride coming from the staff, the teachers, the students, the employees.

                                    I … Like you said, it did feel like there was some fairy dust being sprinkled. How do we take that, John, and get it out to other parts of the United States and also other parts of the world. I know that you mentioned the National Business Disability Council, and I know that you have business to business conversations, and also you recently were a keynote speaker at the International Labor Organizations Global Business Disability Network where we brought in 30 corporations, and your organization has actually become one of the members of that, but how do we take what you’ve created and the legacy that was created by Mr. Viscardi, and how do we take this and help other human beings that have disabilities really find their full potential?

John Kemp:          Well, it’s … When I started in this, working, I said, “Gosh, it’s only going be about 20 or 30 years, and everyone will have accepted people with disabilities as equals.” We’re not there-

Debra Ruh:           [inaudible 00:25:36]

John Kemp:          We’re not there yet. We’re not even close, and-

Debra Ruh:           No, we’re not.

John Kemp:          … and it’s because disability is so new, always, to people, to other people. Only 17% of us start at our lives with our disabilities, and so people join the disability ranks by accidents, illness, injuries, things that just, they never anticipated, could see down this path of life. They just never anticipated this, and so they join, and yes, that can cause them some high anxiety and fearfulness, but at the same time, any good business person would say, “Why would I lop off 20% of an applicant pool. If I could add 20% more people into the applicant pool and skim off the very best people off the top and including some of those folks with disabilities, wouldn’t I be a better business for it?”

                                    The answer is, absolutely, you would, and the fact that we have money, not a lot of money, but we have some money, and you would want us as a customer, I would think, because you really don’t ever have enough customers, so hopefully, we want to be of the customer of choice. We want to be the customer that’s wanted and treated with respect, the consumer that a business would want.

                                    We look at that, and then we think about corporate social responsibility and really want to be part of the CSR programs that companies have where they can include disability on businesses as part of their supply chain and in additional to the employment and looking at people as customers or consumers that can be part of the supply chain, and nourishing the communities in which they live and work.

                                    There are a lot of good reasons that corporations should really be thinking about. The brand that they have, and the brand identity that they have, and people with disabilities really want to be their customer and their employee.

Debra Ruh:           As we know, John, people with disabilities are already their customers and employees since, as you noted, many people with disabilities are not always visible.

                                    I mean, right now, John, in this video interview, we only see the top part of your body, and I have seen a couple of times as you’re speaking like an Italian and you’re waving your hands, I see that you are, yes, wearing prosthesis, but I could assume, if we didn’t know that, that you didn’t have a disability, which … I think that the opportunity we have as a community is to not be ashamed of who we are as individuals.

John Kemp:          Good. Good.

Debra Ruh:           I know we’re working on that, and I know that you and I are heavily working to make sure that brands understand that the reality with disability is that we go across all minority segments. We are in all socioeconomic area, we’re all religions including no religion at all, males, females. We go across all demographics.

                                    We know, according to the World Health Organization, one in seven people in the world have a disability in the United States. One in five of us identify has having a disability. These are large, large numbers of people that brands really don’t want to ignore, but I think the work that, that your work inspired me, not because you have a disability, but because, I really liked how you just, you made it real common sense.

                                    It’s like, why would you want to leave anybody out? I don’t understand. Why do you not want my money? If I want to buy a camera, why would Cannon not want my money? I mean, Cannon wants me as a customer. I think that that’s something you and I have been doing over the years, along with a lot of other amazing, amazing talented people, but there really is still is a lot of work to do, but I think someone like you, John, that just shows us what a human being means, what a complex, multidimensional human being means starting with your mother and your father and your sisters, and now your lovely wife Samantha. I just, I think we really can change the world together. I’m excited about the potential, and so-

John Kemp:          Thank you.

Debra Ruh:           … couple of questions.

John Kemp:          I gotta tell you, I’ve got … My wife has two grown children. They’re both married, and we have five grandsons, and they’ve grown up with me. They’re 8 to 16 years of age now. They get the disability stuff very, very well. It’s really, it’s fun to watch them understand what I’m all about and how they couldn’t imagine that I wouldn’t be included in doing things with them.

                                    It’s what everyone … It’s Sara, and her impact is way beyond. It’s kind of dropping a pebble in lake, and it just grows all the way out. The impact that we have last much longer than we think about because when I meet somebody in a store, and they go home to dinner and talk about what their day was, they might say something about, “I shook hands with a guy that had artificial arms, and I shook his clamp.”

                                    The rippling effect of just our presence is really, really important. That’s why presence, the proximity of people with disabilities to be in the community and to be in the workplace is so important because it’s way beyond just what’s happening in the moment. It lasts for a long, long time.

Debra Ruh:           Right, I agree. Sometimes, you don’t know the impact you’re having. I remember when I was asked to speak in Turkey, and I was talking about the work and my daughter, and at the end of the conference, they were having a recap of what was the most important thing you heard, and they were doing the recap appropriately in Turkish, which I don’t speak.

                                    At one point, everybody in the audience turned and looked at me, so I knew something had been said about me, and then the translation caught up, and there was two mothers that said, “It never occurred to us to feel blessed and grateful about our children being born with disabilities and that these children could actually impact the world in a positive way. It just, it never occurred to us to think about it like that.” I got a little choked up, and I thought that obviously that was one of the pebbles I was supposed to drop in.

John Kemp:          That’s right. Right?

Debra Ruh:           We don’t know what our work is doing. I’m really blessed that on this program, John, it’s listened to in 64 countries.

John Kemp:          Wow. That’s great.

Debra Ruh:           It’s just amazing, 64-

John Kemp:          That’s huge.

Debra Ruh:           … countries, and I think it’s because I have a guest like you on here. Let me … I would like you to tell people how they can find out more about John Kemp, about The Viscardi Center, and also what if there’s a brand listening to this and they want to get involved with The National Business Disability Council? Can you just tell us a little bit about how to find more about you.

John Kemp:          Absolutely. Absolutely. If you would go on your browser and search the, it’s called The Viscardi Center, and our web domain is Viscardi, V-I-S-C-A-R-D-I, Center, C-E-N-T-E-R dot O-R-G, and up will pop our Viscardi Center and School, and you’ll be able to find the Abilities organization, the Center organization, and the School itself, and under About Us, you’ll be able to find me, the president and CEO, and the president of the school, so be honored to hear from anybody.

                                    If you’re a corporation that’s very interested in learning about how to be more inclusive about people with disabilities becoming employees or customers or part of the supply chain, the National Business and Disability Council is also part of our website, and you can reach us through the viscardicenter.org/nbdc.

Debra Ruh:           And y’all do everything there. I mean, if your website needs to be made accessible, if your software applications, if you need strategic advice, The Viscardi Center is just a really good place that’s actually really walking the walk.

                                    I also just want to say, John, before we wind up the interview, you and I are both very interested in these global conversations, making sure that we are not only sharing what we’ve learned here in the US, but we’re also learning from others. I know you and I also believe that probably the innovation, the future innovation’s going to be coming from the corporate brands as opposed to maybe our governments and things like that. I just was hoping that the last thing that we could talk about was why do you think it’s important for US corporate brands to be in the global conversations?

John Kemp:          Well, I don’t think anything’s done in isolation anymore. I think the transmission of knowledge, culture is so fast and so global that you really, if you’re really acting in an isolated way, you’re really cutting yourself off from improving yourself and finding your employees and your customers. Hopefully, you would take a global view of what you’re doing, even if you’re a small business in the middle of Kansas where I lived for a while.

                                    You have the potential now to reach anybody in the world. Hopefully, companies are thinking about their brand identity, their inclusiveness, their openness, their transparency, their willingness to go for the very best people they can possibly find. You would want affiliate and associate with a global marketplace. I think the ILO, for example, is doing a great job of reaching out-

Debra Ruh:           [inaudible 00:36:11].

John Kemp:          … and they are looking at in-country networks like the NBDC and the other in-country networks, but they’re using intermediary organizations so you have the sensitivities to cultural issues that really have to be paid attention to. There can also be the opportunity to harmonize on a global basis some of these corporate policies that really can be done well.

                                    I think, when I talk about corporate policies, I’m really talking about those that start at the very top of the corporation where the corporate directors, hopefully, some of them are out and proud of their disabilities, having had heart attacks or can’t see, can’t hear, can’t walk very far, can’t do some things, but certainly are living a good, full life. They need to be out and proud about it and think about what is the CSR of the company that they are a member of the board of. They need to think about it and make sure that the corporation’s acting responsibly below them.

Debra Ruh:           I agree. Well said. Well said, John. Well, John, thank you so much for joining us on Human Potential at Work today. I know that you wrote a book about your life. Do you mind just telling the viewers what the name of the book is, and then I promise I will let you go.

John Kemp:          No, thank you. I so admire you, Debra, and really appreciate you having me on today.

                                    The book that I wrote is a compilation book with Dr. Stanley Klein, and it’s called Reflections From a Different Journey, and it’s available on Amazon.

Debra Ruh:           It’s a beautiful book. I love it. I’ve got it, and I was really blessed to get a signed copy. John, thank you for your-

John Kemp:          Thank you.

Debra Ruh:           … work, thank you for your humanness, and thank you for your leadership.

John Kemp:          Well, thank you and love you.

Debra Ruh:           Love you, too. Bye everyone.

 

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You’ve been listening to Human Potential at Work with Debra Ruh. To learn more about Debra and how she can help the organization, visit ruhglobal.com. If you enjoyed today’s episode and you want to make sure that you don’t miss any future episodes, go to iTunes and subscribe to the podcast Human Potential at Work. Thanks so much for listening, and we’ll be back next week with a new episode.