NEW YORK--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), announced today that the National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) and Voya Cares® are collaborating to provide financial support to entrepreneurs with Down syndrome to raise awareness of the need for businesses of all sizes to embrace disability inclusive employment. The application period opens on July 29, 2020, for four grants to be used to start a business or invest more capital into an existing company.
Three $10,000 grants and one $25,000 grant will be awarded this October, in celebration of Down Syndrome Awareness Month and National Disability Employment Awareness Month. They will be part of a “Go Orange” awareness campaign by NDSS and Voya to boost the national conversation about the need for greater employment opportunities for people with Down syndrome and other disabilities.
“In June 2020, the percentage of working age people with a disability who were employed was 28.4% as compared to 67.7% for those without a disability,” noted NDSS President and CEO Kandi Pickard. “Limited employment opportunities have led many people in the disability community to think outside the box and build their own businesses. Individuals with Down syndrome are revolutionizing the small business community by showcasing their passion and creativity. NDSS is grateful to work with Voya Cares to provide this unique opportunity for individuals to invest and grow.”
“Our nation recently celebrated the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act on July 26, 2020, and as with any underserved community, laws may grant equal opportunities, but that doesn’t mean equal opportunities exist,” said Jessica Tuman, vice president, Voya Cares® at Voya Financial. “Voya continues to push for societal change. We are honored to work with NDSS to help establish a secure financial future where all Americans can thrive.”
Eligible individuals with Down syndrome who have innovative business ideas can apply for a Go Orange grant by visiting the NDSS website at https://www.ndss.org/engage/ndss-scholarships/ndss-voya-entrepreneur-grants/ and completing an application by Aug. 31, 2020. Recipients will be chosen based on the creativity of their business plan, their goals for the future of their business and the impact they are making in their communities.
About Voya Financial®
Voya Financial, Inc. (NYSE: VOYA), helps Americans plan, invest and protect their savings — to get ready to retire better. Serving the financial needs of approximately 13.8 million individual and institutional customers in the United States, Voya is a Fortune 500 company that had $7.5 billion in revenue in 2019. The company had $538 billion in total assets under management and administration as of March 31, 2020. With a clear mission to make a secure financial future possible — one person, one family, one institution at a time — Voya’s vision is to be America’s Retirement Company®. Certified as a “Great Place to Work” by the Great Place to Work® Institute, Voya is equally committed to conducting business in a way that is socially, environmentally, economically and ethically responsible. Voya has been recognized as a 2020 World’s Most Admired Company by Fortune magazine; one of the 2020 World’s Most Ethical Companies® by the Ethisphere Institute; as a member of the Bloomberg Gender Equality Index; and as a “Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion” on the Disability Equality Index by Disability:IN. For more information, visit voya.com. Follow Voya Financial on Facebook, LinkedIn and Twitter @Voya.
About Voya Cares®
An extension of Voya's vision and mission to help all Americans have the quality of life they seek in retirement, the Voya Cares program is committed to being a leader in making a positive difference in the lives of individuals with special needs and disabilities — as well as their families, caregivers and other providers — by offering a depth of resources focused on education, planning and solutions. Go to voyacares.com to learn more.
The National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS) is the leading human rights organization for all individuals with Down syndrome. NDSS programming includes the National Advocacy & Policy Center, which seeks to create systemic change through engaged advocacy; the National Buddy Walk® program, which honors and celebrates individuals with Down syndrome in local communities across the world, and other programs that provide support, informational resources and community engagement opportunities for individuals with Down syndrome and those who love and support for them. Visit www.ndss.org for more information about NDSS programs and resources.