Liza Laurino-Siegal, a doctoral student at St. John’s University has published her dissertation which examined employers working with people with disabilities. She focused her research on two Long Island based companies: John’s Crazy Socks and Spectrum Design. The study documents the benefits of employing people with differing abilities.
Ms. Laurino-Siegal returned to John’s Crazy Socks to review her findings and present the co-founders, John and Mark X. Cronin with a copy of her dissertation. She will publish an article based on her findings in the Journal of Higher Education and present it a series of meetings with educators on Long Island.
Research Findings: Hiring People with Differing Abilities is Good Business
Ms. Laurino-Siegal’s research identified five themes exemplified by both John’s Crazy Socks and Spectrum Design:
- Both exhibited a strong sense of purpose and lifelong learning.
- Both found benefits in employing individuals with differing abilities.
- Both built education and inclusion into the fabric of their operations.
- Both made modification to their workplace to put people with differing abilities in a position to succeed and to maximize their contributions.
In addition, her research identified changes in government policy that would help employ more people with differing abilities and for more hours. Those changes would overcome the limitations created when people need to restrict their earnings to maintain their government health insurance benefits.
The research concluded that businesses benefit from employing people with differing abilities.
John Cronin, co-founder of John’s Crazy Socks, who has Down syndrome said, “This study shows what I have always said, people with differing abilities are willing, able and ready to work.”
Mark X. Cronin, John’s father and co-founder, said, “We were glad to participate in this study. We want other businesses and policy makers to see the benefits of hiring people with differing abilities. It leads to better morale, greater productivity, better retention and helps in recruiting new staff. This research documents these benefits.”
Ms. Laurino-Siegal selected these two businesses because they “have core values, are mission-driven and support individuals with differing abilities.” She published her findings in a paper entitled “Employer Perspective on Augmenting Work Experiences for Individuals with Disabilities.” Ms. Laurino-Siegal spent hours interviewing the leadership and many employees at both John’s Crazy Socks and Spectrum Design as well as observing work at both businesses. She augmented these observations and interviews with an extensive review of the literature on employing people with disabilities.
About John’s Crazy Socks
John’s Crazy Socks, the world's largest sock store, was inspired by John Lee Cronin, a young man with Down syndrome, and his love of colorful and fun socks—what he calls his “crazy socks.” He and his father, Mark X. Cronin, started the company as a social enterprise with a mission of Spreading Happiness™. They do this by offering socks people can love that allows an expression of one’s true self… and by giving back, by creating jobs for people with differing abilities and by Spreading Happiness™.
For more information about John’s Crazy Socks, visit our webpage, Facebook page, Instagram account or YouTube channel. You can also contact us at 631-760-5625 or via email at firstname.lastname@example.org.