SOURCE: Wirestone

February 02, 2010 08:00 ET

National Ad Campaign Promotes Hiring People With Disabilities

"Think Beyond the Label" Is the Message of Smart and Funny TV, Print, Web, and Outdoor Ads -- to Launch Feb 1

CHICAGO, IL--(Marketwire - February 2, 2010) - The organization Health & Disability Advocates is spearheading a collaborative of 30 states, which will launch a national ad campaign promoting the hiring of people with disabilities. The $4 million campaign will begin to appear on television, in print, on the Web, and on billboards beginning February 1 and running through 2010.

The goal of the humorous, edgy campaign is to change attitudes about hiring people with disabilities, raising awareness of the need for diversity in the workplace, and countering stereotypes about people with disabilities.

Created by the Chicago-based ad agency Wirestone, "Think Beyond the Label" emphasizes that all workplaces accommodate difference -- from the "copy-incapable" office worker to the "pattern-deficient" dresser to the man with "volume control syndrome" (i.e., the loud-mouthed employee). The campaign acknowledges that workforce diversity is an asset to small, medium, and large companies. Interested employers are encouraged to visit the campaign hub,, for information on hiring people with disabilities in their areas.

The campaign's television ads feature Alana Wallace, a charismatic actress, dancer, and disability activist who uses a wheelchair as a result of childhood polio. Ms. Wallace, who founded her own dance company to encourage collaborations between artists with and without disabilities, is available for interviews.

"The 'Think Beyond the Label' campaign emphasizes the quirks and imperfections of our coworkers and makes the case that no worker is without flaws. The campaign demonstrates that these shortcomings don't impact job performance or slow the company down," says Barbara Otto, executive director of Health & Disability Advocates.

Otto notes that the timing of the campaign could not be better, because people with disabilities have been disproportionately affected by the recession, and their unemployment numbers are rising faster than those of the general public.

"People with disabilities are the untapped workforce of the 21st century," Ms. Otto says. "Companies that are looking for individuals who think outside of the box get a competitive edge when they overcome their biases and hire individuals who are living outside of the box."

About Health & Disability Advocates:

Health & Disability Advocates (HDA) is a state and national policy and advocacy organization that promotes income security, enhances work opportunities, and improves health care access and services for low-income children, people with disabilities and older adults.

About Wirestone, LLC:

Wirestone is a digital marketing solutions agency that specializes in helping world-class brands connect and activate their customers through the creation of insight-driven, targeted customer experiences. Wirestone is headquartered in San Francisco and has offices in seven U.S. cities with 175 passionate people. Wirestone's client partners include HP, Microsoft, Nike, Oakley, Motorola, SKYY Spirits, A.C. Moore, Pabst Brewing and Simplot. Visit or follow at for more information.

Contact Information

  • Contact:
    Barbara Kancelbaum
    718-788-1408 (o)
    718-744-5310 (c)