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Boston-based Barkan Management Recognized for its Workplace Diversity

Barkan Management recently earned a national award for its efforts toward hiring a diverse workforce, including persons with disabilities. Barkan hired a deaf woman who had worked in the payroll department and another woman with Asperger’s Syndrome as a file clerk.

Barkan manages more than 23,000 units in 17 states and the District of Columbia and is one of 18 companies out of hundreds to be recognized with a Ruderman 2016 Best in Business Awards.

The woman with Asperger’s has been a great asset to the company, says Janet Damelin, Barkan’s Executive Assistant. She did not need many accommodations, but the two items that help her are “a very specific schedule which we update on a weekly basis” and “a daily checklist of responsibilities that she uses to keep her on track,” Damelin says.

This employee works 25 to 29 hours each week, and she is responsible for all incoming and outgoing mail, including 2,000 vendor checks weekly, according to the Ruderman Family Foundation report.

For the deaf employee, the company installed TTY phone lines and encouraged email and text communications, Damelin says. This employee worked in the payroll department for more than 35 years and ran the entire department for 30 years, until retiring recently.

Read more on this story in the February issue of units magazine.