Unique Sponsorship Opportunities
for Tackling Disability Unemployment

Two accomplished professionals with cerebral palsy now offer non-profits and corporations a unique opportunity to be a part of helping individuals with special needs become ready to work in today's job market.

Who We Are

Portrait of Jim HasseJim Hasse
Portrait of Jessica KleistJessica Kleist

Jim Hasse, ABC, GCDF, is the founder of www.cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com, the comprehensive career coaching guide for parents of CP youngsters 7 to 27 years old.

He’s the owner of Hasse Communication Counseling, LLC, which helps people gain the confidence they need to put disability to work as their competitive edge in today's job market.

For 10 years, he served as senior content developer for eSight Career Network. For 29 years before that (10 of them as vice president), he was head of corporate communications for Foremost Farms USA.

Jim is an Accredited Business Communicator (ABC) and a Global Career Development Facilitator (GCDF). He is a writer, publisher, marketer and facilitator. He has a B.S. degree in journalism from the University of Wisconsin-Madison.

He’s the author of 14 books about disability and disability employment. He has had cerebral palsy since birth.

Jessica Kleist, MS. Ed., LPC-IT, is a speaker, facilitator, Professional Counselor in Training and owner of Abilities First Counseling, LLC. She earned her Bachelor of Science Degree in Vocational Rehabilitation in 2000, her Master of Science Degree in Education in 2001 and her Master of Science in Mental Health Counseling in 2011 from the University of Wisconsin-Stout.

She has had cerebral palsy since birth and says it’s “honor and privilege” to join others along the path to self-discovery through group training and one-on-one counseling.

Jessica was a peer support coordinator-resource counselor with the Center for Independent Living for Western Wisconsin (CILWW) in Menomonie. During her CILWW tenure, Jessica managed the Peer Project, a pilot program for helping high school students with disabilities learn from their peers how to better prepare for their transition to adult life, post-secondary education and employment.

Jessica is currently serving 30 individuals with a disability and their families as a counselor with IRIS, Wisconsin’s self-directed supports program for older people and adults with disabilities.

Alignment with Your Focus

Mainstream employers often admit that, despite much effort in recruiting, it’s difficult for them to find “qualified” candidates with a disability for open jobs.

There may be two reasons for this situation.

First, attachment theory, the study of the importance of early childhood emotional bonds, suggests that youngsters who have stronger relationships with their parents develop stronger self-esteem and better self-reliance as they grow older and explore the world – even though disability is involved.

Children with a stronger self-esteem tend to be more independent, perform better in school, have successful social relationships, experience less depression and eventually do well in the world of work.

Individuals with a disability may have difficulty with the psychological ramifications of living with a visible or invisible vulnerability in a society which often presents a distorted picture of disability.

This may be particularly true when unexplored misconceptions within the family unit about disability impede a healthy connectedness between them and their parents.

The result could be an “encumbered” job candidate who does not have the self-esteem, emotional intelligence or interpersonal communication skills to perform well on a job.

Second, in today’s highly competitive job market, getting hired and building a career require career management skills that are increasingly becoming more sophisticated.

Acquiring and continually updating these career management skills are crucial to on-the-job success because “no one else is going to do it for you” in a temporary-work world where job holders are “free agents” and employee turnover is high.

Individuals with a disability often encounter barriers in getting hired because they are using outdated employment models and job marketing methods.

They cannot expect to do well in today’s work climate without access to contemporary career management tools, knowledge about how to use them effectively and insight about how to modify them so disability is a competitive edge instead of a disadvantage in the minds of hiring managers.    

These are the needs Jim and Jessica are addressing through their materials and trainings.

Benefits You Receive Through Sponsorship

  • You help train the next generation of job seekers with a disability.

  • You put “punch” in your corporate diversity efforts.

  • You get public recognition for being on the forefront of tackling disability unemployment.

  • You get unique access to qualified job candidates with disabilities.

What You Need to Do

Here are some possibilities for getting involved:

  • Become a sponsor for Steptember 2015, using content developed by Jim and Jessica.

  • Sponsor one or all of Jim’s 12 eBooks.

  • Buy Jim’s paperback books in bulk for handouts at conferences.

  • Sponsor Jim’s www.cerebral-palsy-career-builders.com website.

  • Sponsor Jim’s audiobooks.

  • Sponsor Jessica’s Dependable Strengths training (by Barnard Haldane) for college students with a disability.

  • Offer scholarships to parents and/or students for attending Jessica’s online trainings and one-on-one coaching.

  • Sponsor videos of Jim and Jessica’s content on YouTube.  

Now Is the Time

Contact Jim here or through LinkedIn.

This is Creative Commons content.  You can freely and legally use, share and repurpose it for non-commercial purposes only, provided you attach this sentence and the following attribution to it (including the two links):

Originally written and illustrated by Jim Hasse, ABC, GCDF, owner of Hasse Communication Counseling, LLC, who, as a person with cerebral palsy, served for 10 years as a vice president in a Fortune 500 company during his 29-year career in corporate communication. He’s an Accredited Business Communicator, certified as a Global Career Development Facilitator and author of 14 Amazon books about disability awareness and disability employment issues.

Break Out: Finding Freedom When You Don’t Quite Fit the Mold” is a modern memoir of Jim Hasse’s 51 personal-experience stories as a person with a disability about what it means to be “too different” in a society with a penchant for conformity and tribalism.

Break Out was first published in 1996, but Jim's collection of 51 true stories are even more relevant today (in the light of our current political and cultural climate) than it was back then.

Take a look at this section of his 1996 Preface to the book:

"In a divided world and country, extremist views, quick answers and homogenized insights often get the press coverage and broadcast time. 'Maybe' and 'I don't know yet" take too much time and are too tentative. They garner little credibility in much of the media.

"Yet, on a personal level, most of us live with a larger reality. A part of our journey through life is settling for temporary "maybe" answers about who we are and who we can become. That's especially true when we need to face fundamental questions about how we can deal effectively with false assumptions about ourselves (and the presumptions others may form about us) because we don't quite fit accepted norms." 

Only two copies of this paperback are available on Amazon. Or, pick up your FREE copy (one of 192 remaining copies from the first printing) at Disability Pride Madison on July 27.

Jim writes:

“I now look at Break Out  as a treasure-trove for those who specialize in narrative therapy within the disability community.

"After 20 years of publishing Break Out, I have revisited each of these stories and published a series of eBooks that include the original stories but add my after-thoughts about what each episode really meant in my struggle with vulnerability.

"For those of us with disabilities, this  new series of 'updates' provides examples  of how to shape our life stories for greater well-being."