Walgreens Embraces Disabled Employees

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The Walgreens Distribution Center in Anderson, S.C. is making a difference and setting an example.

"I'm happy. I'm contented," said employee Julia Turner. "I've got people all around me who are the best friends I've ever had in the whole world."

Julia and more than 40 percent of the 700 workers there are disabled.

She has Down's Syndrome.

A co-worker of hers is mentally disabled. Another is wheelchair bound.

And the person who recruited most of them, Angela Mackey, has Cerebral Palsy.

"I hope that from my work and from this program I'm showing that disability or not, we all have potential. We all have value," she said.

Disabled workers and those without disabilities do many of the same jobs and earn the same pay.

"Corporate america thinks they need to give someone with a disability an easier job," Luann Bannister, another Walgreens employee, said. "Everyone here is on equal ground."

Walgreens executive Randy Lewis is behind the difference.

Lewis has a 19-year-old son with autism.

"As a parent I saw the future and so the question is, given our position, maybe we could be an example, maybe we could use our position of leadership to try to change the work environment," he explained.

Lewis added that the Anderson Center just as productive as other distribution centers.

"People come to me and ask, 'can this work in my environment?'" he began. "Absolutely, It's not only a good thing to do, it's the right thing to do."

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