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By John Pluhowski
• Apr 2, 2018
SVP and Chief Communications Officer

As the father of an adult son with non-verbal Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and the Chair of TD's Individuals with Diverse Abilities (IwDA) subcommittee, I feel incredibly privileged to work for a purpose-driven company that actively promotes diversity and inclusion, empowering individuals of all backgrounds and abilities to thrive.

Over the past year, we at TD have extended this core value to enhance our support for Individuals with Diverse Abilities (IwDA), based on the conviction that it's not only the right thing to do for our people; it's also the smart thing to do for our business. Simply put, we recognize that by recruiting and developing individuals with diverse abilities, we expand our pool of top talent and gain a variety of perspectives, helping us create more innovative products and services that reflect the brilliant diversity of the communities we serve.

In addition to proactively recruiting people with ASD, we also provide comprehensive health and wellbeing benefits to support families with ASD members, including doctor-supervised treatment programs, custom case management, in-home direct care, parent/caretaker training, intensive behavioral therapy, Applied Behavioral Analysis (ABA) therapy, and free individual and family counseling.

I can personally vouch for the extraordinary impact these benefits have had on my own family. Thanks to TD, my son, John Byron (JB for short), has achieved remarkable milestones. Over the past two years, JB has grown more independent, capable of managing some of his own health needs for the first time in 29 years. He also enjoys a better quality of life: He has become a passionate artist, a fitness nut and a favorite uncle. As a result, our whole family is happier and healthier.


So, on April 2, when TD joins the international celebration of World Autism Awareness Day, I will take deep personal pride in embracing my professional commitment to Autism Awareness -- knowing that we at TD are modeling the kind of corporate responsibility that transforms people's lives.

To kick off Autism Awareness Month, I'd like to share an infographic, which highlights some little-known facts about ASD and why this matters so much to all of us at TD.

Autism Awareness InfographicClick to view full PDF

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