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Celebrating Abilities in April


Ah…April. It’s a time of renewal. As winter loosens its grip, snow, ice and gray skies are replaced by blooming flowers, chirping birds and sunny days – at least in between those infamous April showers. It’s also a month of recognition for those with autism and Down Syndrome.

This year, Friday, April 2 marks World Autism Awareness Day, and Sunday, March 21 is World Down Syndrome Day.

At RSM, we have a strong focus on inclusion, and our 12 employee network groups (ENGs) play a key role in helping ensure that everyone feels a sense of belonging – in our workplace and in the 87 communities where our people live and work in the U.S. and in Canada.

Our Abilities ENG strives to foster an environment that supports professionals who are differently abled and those who have children or other dependents with special needs, as they build their careers at RSM. Given the group’s mission, we’re doing a number of things to highlight World Autism Awareness Day and World Down Syndrome Day:

In honor of World Autism Awareness Day, in addition to encouraging our people to wear blue on April 2, we’re inviting them to an internal autism awareness webinar, and we released an Abilities “Inclusion Starts with I” video featuring a conversation with our Managing Partner and CEO Joe Adams, Alex Weis, National Abilities ENG Cognitive Leader and myself. This is one in a series of videos highlighting conversations with Joe and members of our various ENGs. The purpose of these videos is to highlight some of the issues and topics relevant to each of our ENGs, and to encourage further conversations, foster understanding and enhance inclusion. You can find our Abilities inclusion video here.

The theme for this year’s World Down Syndrome Day is “Connect,” to reflect the WDSD organization’s focus on improving connections to ensure that all people with Down Syndrome can participate on an equal  basis with others.

Our Abilities ENG has partnered with John’s Crazy Socks for a number of years to help raise awareness of World Down Syndrome Day. This father-son social enterprise is inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks, or what he calls his “crazy socks.” The organization is “on a mission to spread happiness” and to “show what’s possible when you give a person with a differing ability a chance.” More than half of John’s Crazy Socks’ employees have differing abilities.

These are just a few examples of how our people are recognizing those who are differently abled throughout April. We invite you to acknowledge World Autism Awareness Day and World Down Syndrome Day in a way that’s meaningful to you.

At RSM, inclusion truly does start with I.

Ayana Martinez
Senior Manager and National Leader, Abilities ENG




Abilities strives to foster an environment that supports professionals or their dependents with special needs.