by Geoff Larcom, Published October 15, 2013
YPSILANTI – There are almost eight million Americans with developmental disabilities, which can include cerebral palsy, autism and Down’s syndrome. Many of these Americans live on the edges of society, separate from the non-disabled.
In a competitive job market, people with developmental disabilities struggle to earn a living. An estimated 80 percent of them are out of work. The need for a wider range of employment options for people with developmental disabilities has never been greater.
In celebration of the National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Eastern Michigan University College of Business is sponsoring the Michigan premiere of the documentary film, “A Whole Lott More,”on at 3 p.m., Sunday, Oct. 27, in the Student Center Auditorium on the EMU campus.
“A Whole Lott More” tells the inspiring and moving story of Lott Industries, an employer with more than 1,200 workers, all with developmental disabilities. For decades, the company in Toledo, Ohio, excelled in assembling car parts.
But with the decline of the auto industry in nearby Detroit, Lott is threatened with closure. The company has 12 months to reinvent itself and to save the livelihoods of its employees. The documentary follows Lott’s critical year from the perspectives of four unforgettable, unique characters. It likely will change the way you think about jobs for people with disabilities.
A panel discussion featuring Joan Uhl Browne, former president of Lott Industries; and Patrick Kemp, chief marketing and development at the Autism Alliance of Michigan and the father of a 30-year-old son with autism, will follow the documentary.
The event is free and open to the public, with free parking available in the Student Center lot. For more information, please contact the EMU College of Business Dean’s Office at 734-487-4140.
For more detail on the film, visit the website at http://awholelottmore.com/