Headshot of young woman in nursing scrubs.

Melisa Lewis wanted a career in health care – and she wasn’t about to let her auditory processing deficit and hearing loss keep her from achieving her dream. The education, internships, and career training she received as a student in The Able Trust’s High School High Tech program in Gainesville prepared Melisa to attend and graduate Magna Cum Laude from the University of Central Florida College of Nursing. A year into her first job as an R.N., Melisa was named her hospital’s Neuroscience Floor Rookie of the
Year. Today, Melisa works in an intensive care unit in Palm Coast.

One in five Floridians have some sort of visible or hidden disability and workers like Melisa are making a difference in Florida’s economy. Floridians with disabilities make important contributions to Florida’s workforce. They are flexible problem solvers who refuse to let barriers stand in their way. Employers that embrace inclusion of those with disabilities welcome a large pool of talented applicants and make their businesses more accessible to customers with disabilities.

As the workplace evolves with restructured jobs, remote work, and adaptive technology, Floridians with disabilities can be ideal talent for the 21st Century.