John Pluhowski on breaking down job barriers for people with disabilities

Industry leaders discuss business disability inclusion at the 2022 Disability:IN Conference

“At TD Bank, we’re really focused on building partnerships. Partnerships within the bank. Partnerships in the communities where we live and work. And partnerships throughout the disability community to really drive awareness about our passion for hiring individuals with disabilities,” says John Pluhowski, SVP and chief communications officer, TD Bank.

He continues, “Why is that so important to us? Because we want to break down the barriers that really prevent people from gaining access to jobs, careers, and organizations that really care to advance inclusion and equality across their company and around the globe.”

WorkingNation sat down with Pluhowski at 2022 Disability:IN Conference in Dallas.

“There is that misperception that there’s a cost associated with hiring anyone who has a disability because they may require more services,” says Pluhowski. “We take a totally different point of view on that. We encourage people to tell us what their disability is even when they go through the recruiting process. So, we know exactly what we need to do to tailor solutions that meet their needs to ensure they are set up for success, not just in the role they take, but actually how we think about their career long term.”

Pluhowski’s place in the disability space is personal. “Our son, who’s 34 years old, has autism and he is nonverbal. He is my hero. He is why I am here today because I have seen through his life where he’s not been given the same opportunities with those who don’t have a disability. So early on, I decided to be an advocate – his advocate – to make sure he was never treated any differently.”

Says Pluhowski, “Being his advocate led me to really be an advocate for anyone with a disability. In my professional career, I’ve never worked for an organization where I felt so comfortable talking about it. In fact, through my whole career, until I came to TD Bank, I never talked about disability. I never talked about my son. But the culture is so trusting, it just made it made it feel natural to go ahead and do so.”

Learn more about TD Bank.
Watch more interviews from the Disability:IN conference.