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AbilityLinks Hosts McDonalds Corporation President Michael Roberts

2/7/2006 12:00:00 AM

Michael Roberts, McDonald's Corporation President and Chief Operating Officer, delivered the keynote address at the 4th Annual Meeting of the AbilityLinks Consortium, an organization that seeks to increase employment of people with disabilities. The meeting was held at Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital in Wheaton, Illinois on Thursday afternoon, January 19, 2006, and was attended by more than 250 members of the business and disability communities.

Mr. Roberts spoke about the importance McDonald's Corporation places on building a corporate culture that values inclusiveness. “A commitment to hiring people with disabilities needs to be real and tangible. We at McDonald’s are proud to share the culture and legacy of Marianjoy, which celebrates and hires people with disabilities,” said Roberts.

Kathleen Yosko, Marianjoy President and CEO, recounted why Marianjoy Rehabilitation Hospital started AbilityLinks. “As many of you are aware, originally AbilityLinks was an idea created out of a planning session at Marianjoy because we found that business and job seekers with disabilities needed a resource that would bring them together. Being a provider of comprehensive rehabilitation, it is our opinion that the physical rehabilitation of a patient is not enough if a patient cannot participate in a lifestyle of his choosing - which often includes the ability to become employed,” said Yosko.

Ms Yosko thanked all of the AbilityLinks Consortium members that have posted resumes and jobs on the Website, as well as hired applicants through AbilityLinks. She also expressed her appreciation to the many organizations and individuals that have made grants and donations to the program and gave special thanks to Director Jack Lavin and the Illinois Department of Commerce and Economic Opportunity (DCEO). DCEO recently made a grant to Marianjoy that is being used to make AbilityLinks a statewide resource for Illinois businesses and job seekers with disabilities.

Besides highlighting the successful recruiting and training programs McDonald’s Corporation has in place to hire and promote disabled employees, Mr. Roberts gave the audience a sneak preview of a new McDonald’s commercial that will début during television coverage of the upcoming 2006 winter Olympics. It features the story of a medal winning Paralympic athlete.

Ms. Yosko concluded the program by saying, "Our consortium keeps growing, as do our job placements. That's emblematic of a project for which we like to say: ‘All we see is ABILITY.’ "

For more information about AbilityLinks, please send an email to or contact Ken Skord, AbilityLinks Project Manager, at 630/462-4257.