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For Immediate Release

National Disability Employment Month

This National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), Easterseals is highlighting many diverse careers, personal experiences and overall remarkable talent across the disability community. We will be sharing these intriguing stories and much more on our social media this month and we wanted to give our Easterseals family an exclusive sneak peek.

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BEN TROCKMAN

Ben Trockman is a Remarkable Talent. A graduate of the University of Southern Indiana, Ben joined Old National Bank in 2014 as Community Outreach and Employment Specialist. Ben has been challenged to assist Old National to become a leader in disability employment and inclusion through education and awareness, while working to enhance recruiting efforts and rethinking the hiring processes to successfully recruit, on-board and employ people with disabilities. He is active within the disability advocacy community, and works with legislators in Washington DC and Indianapolis to improve employment opportunities, airline accessibility and healthcare options for people with disabilities. Ben also serves as Evansville City Council Member, First Ward and is the former Easterseals National Adult Representative from 2012. “Creating an inclusive company culture takes deliberate action and intentional effort,” Ben wrote. “In my career at Old National, I've had the pleasure of planting the seeds of inclusion, specifically for people with disabilities in the workforce by fostering relationships that blossom in the shape of mentorships, internships and full-time employment opportunities.

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YANNICK BENJAMIN

Yannick Benjamin is a Remarkable Talent (and knows a thing or two about wine). He is a NYC-based sommelier at the University Club and one of the Co-Founders of Wheeling Forward, a non-profit that “enables people with disabilities to see possibility where others see insurmountable obstacles,” stepping in to help recently disabled people that lack a support system and resources to obtain the services they need, as well as helping people adapt to life with a long-term disability: “Wheeling Forward is trying to champion people who have disabilities who have goals and objectives that they would like to achieve, but they may not have the right resources or the exact network of family and friends to help them get there and Wheeling Forward tries to provide them with whatever is necessary to help them achieve their objectives and their goals. We all know that it’s very difficult in this day and age, let alone when you have a disability, to try to do it on your own. Everyone needs a little help.” Along with Wheeling Forward Co-Founder Alex Elegudin, the two have founded Wine on Wheels in New York City. Before a car accident in 2003 left Yannick paralyzed, he had a dream of becoming a world class sommelier. Today, Yannick is an Advanced Sommelier with the Court of Master Sommeliers. On Wine on Wheels, Yannick had to say: “We really want to start bringing attention and awareness about people with disabilities to have more employment and more opportunities in the hospitality sector, whether that’s working in a winery, whether it’s working in a hotel, in a restaurant, but I just don’t think that there’s enough opportunities because when we talk about the hospitality sector, they are constantly looking for people, it’s a massive sector but yet still we’re completely left out, we’re completely invisible and there’s a lot of factors to that, and the main one that I think personally is because the major leaders in our industry and the culture of hospitality haven’t made that effort, there’s a combination of not being educated enough, not having the resources to be like how can we get more involved and I think what we want to really do is show that people with disabilities are incredibly hardworking, they’re dedicated and they bring a lot of value.”

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