‘Defining moment’ for Seattle as Microsoft, Amazon, others support Special Olympics USA Games

Michel Kozoris raises his arms after competing in the Special Olympics World Summer Games in 2011. (Photo via Special Olympics)

Seattle-area tech companies are making a statement about building an inclusive workforce as the city hosts one of the largest sporting events in the region’s history.

More than 3,000 athletes will arrive in the Emerald City next week for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games and compete across 14 sports. The event, now in its 50th year, not only spotlights the talent of athletes with intellectual disabilities, but perhaps more importantly promotes inclusion beyond the playing field.

“In many ways, this can and should be a defining moment for the Seattle community,” Microsoft President Brad Smith said in an interview with GeekWire. “It’s a great opportunity to show the nation that we aspire to be a real city and region of inclusion.”

This group raised a Special Olympics flag atop the Space Needle in Seattle on Friday morning. From left to right: Beth Knox, CEO, Special Olympics USA Games; Allen Stone,singer/songwriter; Devon Adelman, Special Olympics athlete; Brad Smith, Microsoft President; and Taye Diggs, singer and author.

Microsoft is the presenting sponsor of the games. The Redmond, Wash.-based tech giant is a long-time supporter of the Special Olympics through donations of software, technical assistance and even cell phones over the years.

But the company is stepping up even more with the games in its backyard this year. It’s a reflection of Microsoft’s broader focus on accessibility — one that got away from the company until Satya Nadella took over as CEO in 2014, Smith said. “We lost our industry leadership position in terms of meeting the needs of people with disabilities,” he said.

That renewed commitment has helped spur a larger culture shift across the company, Smith said. He pointed to products like the new Xbox Adaptive Controller and the company’s $25 million AI for Accessibility Initiative as examples.

More than 2,000 employees will be volunteering at the games next week. Microsoft’s Xbox division is also hosting the first-ever video game tournament at the USA Games.

“If you think about our mission of empowering everyone, then fundamentally we have to do a good job of meeting the needs of the billion-plus people on the planet that have some kind of disability, temporary or permanent,” Smith added. He and Nadella will speak at the Opening Ceremony on Sunday at Husky Stadium with Washington Gov. Jay Inslee.

Devon Adelman, a Special Olympics USA Games athlete and ambassador, speaks at Microsoft’s Ability Summit in May. (Photo via Microsoft)

Microsoft, Amazon, Starbucks, and other companies are participating in the first-ever job fair at a Special Olympics USA Games this year called “Journey of Employment,” where athletes will gain career advice and meet with potential employers. It’s designed to raise awareness for a talent pool that organizers say is often overlooked.

“These partners are committed to creating inclusive work cultures and to helping improve the unemployment rate for people with disabilities,” said Special Olympics USA Games CEO Beth Knox.

The unemployment rate of people with disabilities was 9.2 percent in 2017, double that of the rate for those without disabilities, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. And even with government support, nearly 29 percent of disabled, working-age Americans live below the poverty level, according to U.S. Census data. That line is set at $12,082 for one person.

Artists known as “They Drift” created a mural that was placed on Amazon’s campus in Seattle as part of the “Choose to Include” campaign for the 2018 Special Olympics USA Games. (Photo via Amazon)

Amazon will also be heavily involved next week. The e-commerce giant is sponsoring the closing ceremony near its campus in South Lake Union and will have more than 400 employees volunteering throughout the games. It is also donating boxed lunches for athletes throughout the week via FareStart and launched a neighborhood restaurant campaign this month called “Choose to Include.”

Amazon says it is committed to inclusive hiring. It runs an Alternative Workforce Supplier Program that identifies people with disabilities for hire in the company’s fulfillment centers. The company also partners with Northwest Center, a Seattle-based nonprofit supporting mentally and physically disabled adults and children that provides employees to Amazon. Many of its products and software services offer accessibility features, too.

“At Amazon, diversity and inclusion are an inherent part of our culture,” said Beth Galetti, Amazon’s senior vice president of human resources. “The unique talents, experiences, and backgrounds of our employees are the driving force which enables us to build and innovate on behalf of millions of customers around the world.”

Amazon’s Spheres glow purple in Seattle this past March as the company joined others in marking 100 days until the Special Olympics USA Games begin in the city. (Amazon Photo / Jordan Stead)

Bellevue, Wash.-based wireless carrier T-Mobile and coffee giant Starbucks are getting involved as well. T-Mobile, which has more than 7,000 members in its Access for Disabilities Network, created a text-to-give program that enables donations for the games.

Starbucks has hundreds of employees who are volunteering at the event. For the past three years, Starbucks has received a 100 percent score on the Disability Equality Index survey sponsored by the American Association of People with Disabilities and the U.S. Business Leadership Network.

“Going forward, I would like in my lifetime to see where you hire somebody – a barista who has autism and it goes viral and it’s on the “Ellen” show – that that doesn’t get the attention anymore. That it just is commonplace,” Starbucks manager of Equal Opportunity Initiatives Marthalee Galeota said in 2016. “We have one world – one accessible world where disability is adaptability, it’s humanity, it’s innovation and it’s our global responsibility.”

Smith, Microsoft’s president, said the tech industry should consider how products take into account the needs of people with disabilities, while pursuing new breakthroughs that meet their needs in new ways.

He also said employers should involve people with disabilities in the creation of products. One phrase used in the community is “nothing should be created for us, without us.”

“The key to long-term product improvement for this important community is actually to do a much better job of bringing them into our workforce and making them a key part of our overall ecosystem,” Smith said.

You can get tickets to the USA Games or sign up to volunteer here.

For Sale – Gigabyte Aorus RX580 plus Wanted a 2 bay nas

Brought this on here a month or 2 ago but just nabbed a little upgrade so selling this on.

Looking for what I paid for it £210 inc. NOW £200

Price and currency: £210 NOW £200
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: PPG or BT
Location: Lancing
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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For Sale – Apple clearout, Magic Mouse, Apple Wireless Keyboard etc. Wanted Apple Airport Express

Ok so over the years I have bought new stuff but somehow forgot to sell the stuff that was replaced

1. Boxed Mobee Magic Inductive charger for Apple Magic Mouse £30.00 REDUCED TO £20
2. Boxed Apple Magic Mouse MB8292/A Version 1 £30.00 SOLD
3. Boxed Apple Trackpad MC3802/A Version 1 £40.00. SOLD
4. Boxed Apple Wireless Keyboard 2 Battery. MC1848/A grubby but works fine £35.00 SOLD
5. Boxed Apple iPhone 6s+ Red Leather case, used £20.00 REDUCED TO £12.50
6. Boxed Apple iPhone 6s+ Brown Leather case, used £20.00 REDUCED TO £12.50
7. Dell LCD W1900 TV/Monitor spec here
Dell W1900 Specs with remote £50.00 REDUCED TO £35.00
8. Boxed and as new Reflexion XPC Shuttle PC, Intel P4 2.8, 2gb Ram 186gb HD, this comes boxed with new shoulder bag for transportation, USB2 Card Reader, DVD writer and wireless, I have a wireless keyboard with trackpad and a Dell Monitor with sound bar that I will throw in with it, it comes with Windows 7, and has not been updated in years, have a look here for details, I believe it is the 3rd unit down.
Shuttle * Products * XPC * SB61G2/V3 * Download * for SB61G2
Spec:
Shuttle FB61RS0C
Intel Pentium 4 2.8Gig CPU
200Gig Hard Drive (Samsung SpinPoint P120 SP2004C)
Pioneer DVR 110 DVD
2 x 1GB memory
ATI Radeon X800 Pro
USB2 Card Reader

Not sure what this may be worth, so will offer at £65.00 REDUCED TO £50.00
9. Boxed Henge Dock S HD01VA13MBP for 13″ Mac Book Pro. £35.00. SOLD
10. Boxed Apple TV 2 with remote, Jailbroken on very old OS. £50.00 This can be updated to current OS as far as I know without detriment to unit. REDUCED TO £40.00

As stated all items have been used but looked after, if you require pics please let me know, I would prefer collection, but will consider posting (except monitor & PC & Monitor)) and will add postage to the prices above. Please see my other adds for more items.

Price and currency: £20, 25, 35, 40
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: Cash
Location: West Molesey, Surrey
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

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For Sale – TP-Link Archer VR900 VDSL2 Modem Router

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For Sale – Cooler Master II / Asus Prime H270-Plus / 2 10TB Ironwolf Drives / 1 4GB Western Digtial

Hi,

I am selling my PC and as it is unlikely this will all sell in full. I will also price the individual parts as this will interest people more.

If you want the entire system I am looking for £650

Cooler Master Cosmos 11 – Still around £260 cheapest on Amazon – I am looking for £120 as I would class it as as B grade with only 1 minor mark on 1 side panel. Full pictures have been added but I would also ask you to check out the following links as this describes the case really well and shows great pictures and also spare parts you can buy for the case. My own pictures are attached.

I do not have the box anymore and if you are buying I would ask you to check it out, you won’t be disappointed and is in great condition and is one of the best Full tower cases. if you can’t drive fully to my location, I am willing to meet up half way.

COSMOS II | Cooler Master
https://www.cmstore.eu/cosmos-ii/

Asus Prime H270 – Plus – Still goes for around £90 on Ebuyer – the board is in perfect condition and I still have the box for it. I am looking for £55 for the board

Please check out the specs from the following link on ebyuer.

Asus Intel PRIME H270-PLUS LGA 1151 ATX Motherboard – Ebuyer

Kaby Lake Processor I5 7600 3.6ghz (Turbo Boost 4.1) – Cheapest now is around £180 and you can check this with google shop checker which checks all the major suppliers. (Can play 10 bit and HDR) and runs 4K super smooth. No need for a separate graphic card due to the integrated graphics capability’s of the chip, unless your a real gamer.

I would be looking for £110 for this

2 x Seagate Ironwolf 10TB NAS Hard Drive 3.5″ SATA III 6 GB’s 7200RPM 256 Cache

– They go for around £260 on the cheapest sites

1 of the drives was only bought from Ebuyer on the 16/03/18 so still has warranty up to 16/03/21 left which I am fully willing to help out if it goes wrong. I am looking for £170

The other drive was bought from Ebuyer on the 24/04/17 so still has warranty up to 24/04/20, again I will help out with warranty issues if they arise. I am looking for £150

1 x 4TB Western Digital Drive Hard Drive 3.5″ SATA III 6 GB’s 5400RPM 64 Cache

This drive is from 2014 so the warranty is now just run out –
I am looking for £70

2x4GB Hyperx Fury DDR4 2400mhz

Looking for £45

128GB SAMSUNG PM961 NVME TLC M.2 Drive

Samsung 128GB PM961 M.2 PCIe NVMe Performance SSD/Solid State Drive OEM

Is now around £60 new but I believe has been discontinued now – Solid M2 drive I used as my main drive. I am looking for £35

Warranty runs outs on the 12th Jan 2019

HX520 Corsair Modular Power Supply

An old power supply but still had has capability to run my Kabylake and 5 drives which I have used since the beginning. Difficult to put a price on this but I only used my system to play 1080p and 4K movies and shows, this really shows how brilliant the Kabylake is (Can play 10 bit and HDR). You could run a dedicated graphics card if you didn’t have so many drives – I really wouldn’t know how to price this, but it still works superbly well without a graphics card for movies an shows – I would ask for £35

Unfortunately you can only upload 10 pictures and I had about 25 to show you because of the the other products. You will have to ask me for photos for these products and I can get them emailed too you if your interested. My Apologies.

Please feel free to ask any questions you have

Thanks

Price and currency: 650
Delivery: Goods must be exchanged in person
Payment method: paypal or cash
Location: London, Middlesex
Advertised elsewhere?: Not advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I prefer the goods to be collected

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For Sale – Cpu, ram, Hdds, mobo PC components sale

Hey guys,

Just clearing out a selection of PC components and have the following for sale:

AMD A8 7600 + R7 igp + cooler — £25 inc
Gigabyte GA-F2A68HM-HD2 FM2+ Motherboard — £25 inc
16gb DDR3 ram kit (2x8gb) (team brand) — £50 inc
4gb DDR3 stick (rendition brand) — £10 inc
1tb Toshiba sata HDD — £20 inc
500gb Seagate pipeline sata HDD — £10.50
250w Low power PSU — £14 inc
Fractal design core 1000 case (a few scratches on side but overall good condition — £15 inc
Rii rk100 Led Keyboard + Spider t90 9200 dpi mouse — £12 inc
Thermaltake slim x3 low profile Cpu cooler (brand new) — £15 inc

Any questions or further info just give me a shout.

Thanks!!!

Price and currency: Various
Delivery: Delivery cost is included within my country
Payment method: BT
Location: Lancs/Manchester
Advertised elsewhere?: Advertised elsewhere
Prefer goods collected?: I have no preference

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Wanted – NAS Enclosure

Looking to update my current router/storage system and opting to go down the NAS route. Keen to keep the budget down so ideally <£75 but could stretch if needed for the right equipment.

Needs to be at least 2 bays and capable of handling 6TB single disk (this has been one of my biggest headaches is finding older ones which support large capacity drives)
Only being used to store films/music and as a secondary backup to photos etc. and will be streaming said films to LG TV so transcoding not required.
Plan for it to be stashed away with the rest of the networking equipment so noise isn’t a big concern.

Location: Worcester

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