Peak Performers Staffing Featured in local Newsletter

Recognition from Local Newspaper

The Crestview Neighborhood Association recently featured Peak Performers in their monthly newsletter. The text from the article can be found below.

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Media contact: myles@peakperformers.org – (512) 453-8833 X 116

People with Disabilities Face Hiring Challenges

People with disabilities face an unemployment rate that is double that of the national average. In times of high unemployment, they’re often the first to be let go and the last to be re-hired. The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that a quarter of all adults in the US have a disability. These might be observable and obvious–such as paraplegia or blindness–or they might have non-observable disabilities, such as ADHD, PTSD, diabetes, or epilepsy. Additionally, many conditions come as a result of age or injury. It’s likely that many people reading this article have a disability or will acquire one over the years. Helping advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities is paramount for creating a more inclusive society and helps protect all of our jobs.

Disability Impacts Chart from CDC
Disability Impacts All of Us

Local Nonprofit with a Vision: Professional Opportunities for those with Disabilities

Peak Performers, an Austin based nonprofit, was founded in 1994, several years following the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). At the time, the majority of jobs that were available for people with disabilities were sheltered workshop environments where those individuals would perform light industrial, janitorial, and assembly activities. These workers were often paid sub-minimum wages and might have required regular supervision from a job coach. Peak Performers wanted to offer something different: professional opportunities for skilled people with disabilities. “I was inspired by my foster brother. He was blind but went on to become a very successful accountant,” recalls Charlie Graham, founder and former CEO of Peak Performers. “Being blind did not stop him from becoming a Chief Financial Officer.” “Our vision is two-fold,” adds Bree Sarlati, current CEO. “To change what it means to be a job seeker with a disability, and to challenge the preconceptions that make employers reluctant to hire someone with a disability.”

Growth and Transformation

Unlike many other nonprofits, Peak is completely revenue-funded and does not apply for grants or solicit donations. Unlike other staffing firms, over 75% of their workforce has a qualifying disability. Peak started off like most staffing companies do: supplying low-wage mailroom and clerical roles. Over the years, their customers began trusting Peak and requesting increasingly hard-to-fill roles: auditors, contract professionals, program specialists, and purchasers. In 2014, Peak began filling information technology roles to fill the demand of existing customers. Then in 2020, while most recruiting agencies were shrinking, Peak saw it’s temporary headcount swell to nearly double as the Texas government turned to its now longtime staffing partner for one of its largest challenges yet: the COVID-19 pandemic. Now, Peak has over 100 attorneys working for the Texas Workforce Commission.

Unique Business Sense

There are many advantages to hiring people with disabilities: reduced turnover, advancing diversity and inclusion initiatives, and the availability of an underutilized talent pool, especially during a time when employers need talent. People looking for jobs and employers with staffing needs can find out more at peakperformers.org.

Peak Spotlight: Spinal Cord Injury Awareness

Peak Spotlight: Spinal Cord Injury Awareness

Life Altering, Not Life Defining

Like Jack in the video, many adults come by their disability later in life.  It could be the result of an accident (like in Jack’s case), genetics, or the byproduct of a another illness or condition.  What really resonates to us at Peak about Jack’s story is the sort of fearlessness that he expresses and the desire to find his next big thing.  He may not be able to windsurf any more but he can find another passion, another outlet for his drive and figure out his unique way to change the world.

 

This September we wanted to focus on spinal chord injury (SCI) awareness.  Did you know that 12,500 new cases are reported each year? Fortunately, SCI does not usually affect cognitive function; however, you may need certain accommodations at work to help you on your new path.

Types of Spinal Cord Injury

There are two types of SCIs, complete and incomplete.  Range of motion and mobility will often vary significantly under both categories.

SCIs are typically categorized as follows: Anterior Cord Syndrome (damages to motor and sensory passageways), Central Cord Syndrome (damages to the central cord that carries signals to the brain), and Brown Sequard Syndrome (damage to one side of the spinal cord).

They may also be called: Tetraplegia (loss of control of all limbs), Paraplegia (loss of lower half of limbs), and Triplegia (loss of movement in one arm and both legs, typically caused by an incomplete SCI).

Back to Work

SCIs seldom affect the mind but it can still sometimes be difficult to find work.  Fortunately, the rise of office professional and IT roles (such as the ones we staff) and work from home opportunities make it increasingly realistic to find a career after a life altering SCI.  

Do you have a question about getting a job with an SCI?  Do you know someone who’s looking for work?  You can reach us here at Peak via email or call us at 512-453-8833

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Celebrating 27 years of the Americans with Disabilities Act

Passed by Congress in 1990, and eventually signed by President George H.W. Bush, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is the nation’s first comprehensive civil rights law addressing the needs of people with disabilities, prohibiting discrimination in employment, public services, transportation, telecommunications, and many other spheres of civil society.

The legislation provided many of the civil liberties and protections of the Civil Rights Act to people with chronic medical conditions. Prior to the ADA, job seekers with noticeable disabilities were very often dismissed for certain positions due to the erroneous perception that they could not perform the tasks at hand. It would be naive to say that workplace discrimination no longer exists, but it would also be remiss to discount the significance of the ADA.

Of all the obscure national days to celebrate, this is certainly one not to miss. And in honor of the landmark legislation, we created this infographic to highlight the impact it’s had on all of us.



Peak Performers is Austin’s preferred staffing and recruiting firm for contract work with State of Texas government agencies. As a non-profit, we also give job placement priority to candidates with a disability. To learn more about our company, please visit our website.

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