United States

Recognizing Everyone's Abilities


About 1 billion people around the world live with some type of disability – that’s roughly 15% of the global population.

In recognition of the special challenges those individuals face each day, the United Nations in 1981 proclaimed December 3 as International Day of People With Disabilities. The purpose of the day is to celebrate the achievements of people living with disabilities around the world, while promoting awareness of the role communities play in helping eliminate barriers to social inclusion, equity, participation and citizenship.

At RSM, we understand that those with disabilities experience the world – and the workplace – differently than others. And we strive to create a work environment that is inclusive of and inviting to all of our people across the nation, regardless of what we prefer to refer to as their abilities. One of the ways we do this is through our 11 employee-led employee network groups or ENGs, including our Abilities ENG. These groups provide opportunities for our diverse team of people to connect with others within the firm who share common interests, while also allowing us to learn and educate one another about our differences, as well as the things we have in common.   

Here’s what Tri, one of our Abilities ENG members and our West Region Abilities ENG Leader has to say about his experience here at RSM:

“I’ve been with RSM for more than eight years, and my involvement with the Abilities ENG has been one of the most rewarding experiences I have had. As someone who lives with Tourette Syndrome (TS), as a young child, I recognized that there was something different about me. For many years, I struggled with this difference, but eventually, I came to terms with TS and today I’ve learned how to use it to my advantage. My TS symptoms typically elevate under stressful situations, so I simply underact to situations that most would find stressful. This ability has helped me find success in a work environment that can be stressful. Being able to share my personal experiences, learning and celebrating the unique abilities of others is why I encourage everyone at RSM to join an ENG, such as the Abilities ENG.”

And on a related note, this year, Jake Olson, a blind long-snapper from the University of Southern California and well-known golfer, his father Brian Olson, his guide dog Quebec, his sister and his manager joined us at the 10th  RSM Classic. In recognition of International Day of People with Disabilities, we chatted with Jake on the course about how being blind has shaped his life. Watch the below video to hear his inspirational message. 

And in honor of International Day of People With Disabilities, on behalf of RSM’s Abilities employee network group (ENG) and the rest of our 11,000 people nationwide and in Canada, I’d invite you to join us in celebrating the unique abilities of everyone.

Ayana Martinez
Senior Manager and Abilities Employee Network Group National Leader

Watch the video now



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