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Did you know October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month?

by on October 30, 2014

As a disability-friendly workplace, AEP Ohio is proud to celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness this month and year-round.

In honor of #NDEAM, we feature an article about employee Mark Hasson. Read on as Hasson shares his personal experiences.

mark hassonMark Hasson, a paraplegic, has been with the company since 2006 and works as an administrative associate in the Joint Use group. He is responsible for coordinating the approval process which allows telephone and cable utilities to attach their lines to AEP Ohio’s poles.

As a disabled employee, Hasson says he has had a positive experience working for the company. He works in AEP Ohio’s headquarters building located in Gahanna.

“When I came to work for the company, the building was already wheelchair accessible, but they did install automatic door openers to make it easier for me to enter and exit the building,” Hasson said.

An active individual, Hasson believes exercise is the key to longevity and good health and regularly rides Columbus’ bike trails on his Freedom Ryder, a specially-made bike that allows him to cycle using his hands. He also has a strong mechanical inclination and does all the repairs on his vehicle.Freedom Ryder

He’s very involved in activities at his church and credits his strong faith for carrying him through life and helping him overcome challenges.

Hasson has been married for 34 years to his wife, Robin, whom he’s known since the age of 15. They have a daughter, 32, who is a nurse.

A Vietnam-era veteran, Hasson served in Korea as an infantry soldier in the U.S. Army.

Employees are often unsure of how to interact with disabled employees. “What I would like others to know, is that when it comes to offering to help me, I would rather do it myself. And if I can’t, I will gladly ask for and accept help.” Hasson explained. “Basically, we just want to be respected like anyone else.”

 

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