Lenovo Strengthens Commitment to Inclusive Community-Building Through Long-Term Special Olympics Relationship

An estimated 1.3 billion people around the world experience a significant disability, representing 1 in 6 people globally.[1] To create a more inclusive, more equitable world, Lenovo understands it must drive deeper awareness of visible and invisible disabilities, and take action to support those with unique abilities. Lenovo’s employee resource group, A Better Lenovo for Everyone (ABLE), creates a community of support for employees who experience disabilities themselves, through a friend or family member, or those who are passionate about being allies for this community. ABLE provides resources, helps employees navigate benefits, informs product development with inclusion top-of-mind and supports organizations that share Lenovo’s commitment to people with disabilities.

As the ABLE ERG continues to connect and empower employees at Lenovo, the company also recognizes the importance of giving back to organizations in communities that are doing the same. Alexander Jarmusz, a Lenovo Global Manufacturing Engineer, is at the forefront of the ABLE ERG and its years-long work with the Special Olympics, volunteering and coaching for the organization. Alexander was inspired to get involved through his brother’s participation as an athlete in Special Olympics, and has been leading Lenovo’s involvement with the organization. For more than five years, Lenovo has helped advance the Special Olympics’ mission to provide year-round sports training and athletic competition for children and adults with intellectual disabilities, giving them continuing opportunities to develop physical fitness, demonstrate courage, and build meaningful relationships that share joy.

An athlete prepares for the basketball game with the encouragement of Lenovo volunteers.

“Having the opportunity to bring awareness to a cause that I am personally connected to and passionate about at Lenovo is really special,” said Alexander. “The ABLE ERG continues to make big strides to advocate for and celebrate people with disabilities – from partnering with organizations like the Special Olympics to helping to integrate disability inclusion into every aspect of our corporate culture. We are putting action behind our commitments to support the community and, while we still have work to do, I am proud of all that we have accomplished so far.”

During Lenovo’s Love on Global Month of Service, when employees across the globe are encouraged to spend time away from their work to give back to their communities, Lenovo and ABLE partnered with the Special Olympics of North Carolina. On September 13, Lenovo hosted a basketball game with the organization at the Morrisville office for Special Olympic athletes and Lenovo employees. The excitement during the game was felt by everyone in attendance, with fans cheering loudly from the sidelines, underscoring the immense passion and excitement Lenovo employees had for supporting the organization and this initiative.

An athlete gets cheered on by Lenovo volunteers during the basketball game.

“It meant a great deal to me to join my team in Lenovo’s support of SoNC on campus, as it’s an organization close to my family’s heart,” shared Kirsten Hamstra, Executive Director of Lenovo’s Global Social Media Center of Excellence. “My Aunt Debbie participated in many Special Olympics events over the years – those medals being some of her most treasured possessions. Cheering on ABLE’s basketball game together with so many other Lenovo employees was a very bright spot for us this year.”

Kirsten Hamstra (second from right) cheers on the athletes with members of the global social media team.

Looking ahead, Lenovo will be partnering with the Special Olympics in the spring for a leadership training to build inclusive leadership on team. Lenovo will continue to strive be a place where people with disabilities feel included, heard and empowered around the world.

[1] World Health Organization Disability Fact Sheet


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