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Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion Include our Aging and Disabled Neighbors

Many people working at Palco have the shared experience of family members or close friends with special needs that require additional home care support. These include those with disabilities of any age and/or aging loved ones.

We have committed portions of our lives and careers to responding to these needs and finding the services and supports that keep our people safe at home and in the community. We strive to do so in a culturally competent manner, which is now more critical than ever, given the increasing numbers of aging and disabled community members.

At Palco, we value and encourage time spent learning to be inclusive. We invest training time across all company departments to learn about each specific program and the people we serve. We believe that this not only yields results for our older and disabled members and their caregivers but also for our communities. We believe we can, and we must do more.

DEI by the Numbers

Up to 1 in 4 adults in the United States have a disability, or more specifically, 26% of the adult population. According to the National Center on Birth Defects and Developmental Disabilities, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 1 in 6 children, or 17%, have one or more developmental disabilities. Additionally, 17% of people living in the United States, or 1 and 6, are older than 65. And none of these data sets provide information about the vulnerability that minority groups experience with higher incidents of poverty, elevated prevalence of disabilities, and less access to medical insurance coverage.

How Do We Improve Palco Cultural Competency?

As individuals and as a company community, we ask how we can galvanize in our daily lives our mission statement – to empower independence through original ideas and tools that solve problems – to improve Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) awareness of the minority populations in our work and home lives.

To address the challenges, we are shining the spotlight to illuminate critical DEI understanding and:

  • Training Palco staff and program leaders to think culturally competent.
  • Increasing the number of Palco leaders and staff to reflect the diversity of the clients we serve.
  • Addressing the issues of health disparities.
  • Assisting Palco employees in working with Boards and Advisory Committees to increase cultural competency and diversity.
  • Acknowledging and honoring the fundamental value and dignity of all people.

Working Toward a More Inclusive Community

We hope you will join us to become better equipped to address the current issues of inequality and share our passion for creating a more inclusive world for our older and disabled loved ones and neighbors. Volunteering can be a powerful force in change. For more resources, our friends at AARP and Georgetown University are a great resource.

Martha (Mom) and Rick Prock (Son)

Photo credit: Sandra Green

My Aunt Martha and first cousin Ricky are in a common moment in their daily routine. In the small town of Haven, Kansas, during the ’70s and ’80s, diversity, equity, and inclusion were not words to help us understand the needs of our disabled friends and loved ones. However, the community rallied around my family. Today, we know more and can do more, building upon the lessons of the past.

by Cynthia Rademacher
Director of Marketing and Business Development

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