DC Metro Business
Leadership Network


Monthly Newsletter: August 2016

                 DC Metro BLN Announces 2016 Gala Theme

Katherine McCary, CEO, Executive Director

The DC Metro BLN Is excited to announce the theme for our second annual gala to support our commitment to youth with disabilities! 

The DC Metro BLN takes seriously the commitment to this nation’s Millennials made by the ADA, the ADAAA and the IDEA that promise education and employment.  We work with great partners, such as the National Youth Transition Collaborative, BroadFutures, Greater Washington Internship Coalition, Marriott Foundation’s Bridges from School to Work and TransCen, Inc. and bring our employer members together to focus on the gap between school and work. As a USBLN® Affiliate, we support the Career Link Mentoring Program and its Student Advisory Council.  

We recognize that the biggest barrier to employment for individuals with disabilities is attitudinal and all our work is guided to providing a solution to that barrier. Our goal is to change those attitudes and address concerns of businesses by engaging and informing businesses about the benefits of employing individuals with disabilities. Employers join BLNs because they want an opportunity to engage with like-minded businesses to learn how to progress in the journey toward inclusion of diverse talent who happen to have disabilities (including returning Veterans).

Curtis Pride was our 2015 “Grand Slam” Gala keynote (see his blog in our newsletter) and funds raised last year enabled us to hold two national college virtual career fairs that include a Mentoring Booth for attendees to ask questions directly to employers. As a part of this effort, we also held a Virtual Mentoring Day for high school students with disabilities considering college. 

Some of our more recent efforts include showcasing the Work Early Work Often Campaign (http://www.thenytc.org/workearly) produced by the NYTC and contributing material to  “Your Pathway to Success” Transition Toolkit “ in collaboration with PolicyWorks (http://toolkit.disabilitypolicyworks.org/) for the HSC Foundation/ Youth Transition Collaborative.

On August 24, we will debut a national webinar to educate employers to better understand youth with disabilities “The Promise of the ADA: What Business Needs to Know about Millennials with Disabilities,” presented by Tad Asbury, VP & Executive Director, Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities and Rich Luecking, Ed.D., President Emeritus at TransCen, Inc. to be followed in 4th quarter with,  “The Millennial Viewpoint: What Business Needs to Know about Us”. 

We have partnered with Gallaudet University, The George Washington University’s Career and Disability Services offices and BroadFutures, to create a new initiative entitled, The  “ME Collaborative” (Millennials and Employers). Funding from the 2016 Gala will enable the DC Metro BLN and BroadFutures, to assemble a 12-month focus group, bringing Millennials in college as well as graduates in the workforce, Employer Campus Recruiters and other SME’s to the Collaborative to craft a series of accessible e-learning (micro learning) modules to help  Millennials to understand how to succeed in their career choices.


October 18, 2016

7:00- 9:00pm

SunTrust Bank

SunTrust logo

1445 New York Avenue

Washington, DC 20005

TICKETS AVAILABLE at Early Bird prices!

Buy Tickets 

A further note on Curtis Pride:

We have recently learned that Curtis Pride, the first, and only, full-season deaf player in the modern history of Major League Baseball, has just announced that he is writing a book that will share all the details of his incredible life story.  In his announcement Curtis indicated that it is very important to him to tell his story the way he wants to tell it, so he has decided to publish the book through a large and well-established independent publishing company. To that end, Curtis has launched a Kickstarter page to fund the various costs for an initial print run of 10,000 books.  A link to that page is below if you would like additional information about the book.


Table of Contents

Member Announcements

Discussion Board

This Discussion Board is open to members. Use the following topics to jump start an Employer Dialog by responding to the challenges/questions. Contact us to suggest additional topics.
  • Accommodations
  • Digital Accessibility
  • Millennials
  • Veterans
This is a great way to continue networking outside of our programs!

                                   Disability@Work                                       FREE National Webinar Series Continues

"The Promise of the ADA Generation: 

What Business Needs to Know to 

Tap Into Millennials with Disabilities"


August 24, 2016                                                                               11:30am – 1:00pm ET

Hear from two nationally recognized subject matter experts: Tad Asbury, Marriott Foundation, Bridges form School to Work and Rich Luecking, Former CEO at TransCen. Additionally, the DC Metro BLN's "ME (Millennials and Employers) Committee" will report out on its focus group updates! Register Early- Limited to 100 connections!

2016 DC Metro BLN Gala Sponsorships

"Keeping the Promise of the ADA"

October 18, 2016

7:00- 9:00pm

SunTrust logo

1445 New York Avenue

Washington, DC 20005

Contact us to Become a Sponsor!

As a sponsor, your organization’s logo (and link to your website) will be prominently displayed on our website as a Gala 2016 sponsor until the 2017 Gala - An entire year of branding!

Our Platinum Sponsors will also be recognized every month in the newsletter.


2016 Sponsorship Levels            Benefits

PLATINUM $10,000                        Four 2016 Gala tickets

                                                        Ten Guest Passes to 2017 Programs

DIAMOND $5,000                           Three 2016 Gala tickets

                                                        Five Guest Passes to 2017 Programs

GOLD $2,500                                  Two 2016 Gala tickets

                                                        Two Guest Passes to 2017 Programs

SMALL BUSINESS $1,000             One 2016 Gala ticket 

                                                        One Guest Pass to 2017 Programs


Additional Sponsorships Available!

2016 Programs

"Creating a Culture of Disability Inclusion- Practical Solutions for Workforce Engagement"

August 17, 2016

Hosted By:


New Location

3120 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 100, Falls Church, VA 22042

Featured Keynotes:

Howard GreenKatherine McCary

Howard Green, NOD
Katherine McCary, C5 Consulting, LLC

Moving towards a culture of inclusion takes 

Leadership, Education, Accessibility and Pipeline!

Section 503 regulation changes require Federal Government Contractors to make good faith efforts to employ at least 7% of their workforce with IWD (Individual with Disability) across all job groups and types. To capture this, invitations to self-identify are offered in pre and post offer and every 5 years employees are invited to self-identify. Although theform is simple, getting candidates and employees to disclose has proven to be difficult.

Of the many challenges, the most significant is creating a culture of inclusion in which employees feel safe, respected, and valued resulting in an increased number of employees feeling comfortable enough to self-identify.

C5 Consulting and NOD work collaboratively as partners and are recognized nationally as leaders in disability inclusion. In this session, Katherine and Howard will share challenges and solutions to these three major challenges faced by employers today:

Talent Acquisition (With so many competing pipelines, what are some ideas to strategically source and measure success?),

Internal Engagement  (Leadership buy-in, Hiring Managers Education, ERG best practices) and

Compliance (How do we improve our self-Id numbers and create a culture of inclusion?) gained from working with Fortune 500 clients.


Join or "Up" Your Membership 

Join the DC Metro BLN Today!

Even if you have never purposely hired a person with a disability, at the DC Metro BLN you can learn how to recruit this talent as productive workers and also retain employees in your workforce who either have non-apparent disabilities or will most likely develop a disability while employed at your company. All our events are open to the public.

Employers join BLNs because they want an opportunity to engage with like-minded businesses to learn how to progress in the journey toward inclusion of diverse talent who happen to have disabilities (including returning Veterans).

Membership is open to both private, non-profit and government sectors and gears its programs and resources to the needs of human resources professionals, diversity and inclusion officers and EEOC directors. The OFCCP changes to Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act make membership in BLN an excellent opportunity to stay abreast of the latest information with monthly topical programming and the opportunity to network and learn from other members. Members receive a 50% discount for program registration and receive discounted registration for other events including webinars and career fairs.

Employers gain several branding advantages with logo and links to their websites from the DC Metro BLN site: attract retain a workforce that includes individuals with disabilities, disabled veterans and wounded warriors and their friends and family; attract the same population as customers; be recognized in the community in which they do business.

Join Today!



Premier Recognition as a Platinum Member on our Website, in all 12 Newsletters and at All Programs. Your business  will be prominently displayed in all our social media. As a Platinum Member, your employees attend all programs at no additional cost and your designee may join the DC Metro BLN Corporate Advisory Board.


Recognition as a Lead Employer on our Website, in all 12 Newsletters and at All Programs. Your business  will be prominently displayed in all our social media. Five free passes per year to a monthly program!. As a Diamond Member, your designee may join the DC Metro BLN Corporate Advisory Board.


Recognition as a Lead Employer on our Website and for Six Newsletter Issues and six programs.

Each Executive Membership Level includes TWO full years of business membership (unlimited # of employees per organization). 

(Executive Membership is open to private sector corporate members only)


  • Corporate/Organizational
  • Small Business
  • Non-Profit
  • Government
  • Individual

Need to Renew? 

Want to “Up” Your Membership Level or need an Invoice? Email us.

Thank you to Our Executive Members 

Concepts, Inc. logo
General Dynamics

Leidos logo

Articles of Interest

                         VETERANS CORNER: RON DRACH                                             "Retention of Veterans in Your Workplace"                   

  Earlier this year the RAND Corporation released a report Ten Frequently           Asked Questions About Veterans’ Transitions – Results of a Decade of            RAND  Work on Veteran Life.

  A few surprises (at least to me) were revealed in this report.


In a 2013 study by RAND the researchers pursued the possibility that reservists who have symptoms of PTSD “…might experience reduced civilian earnings”. They controlled for demographic and military characteristics and “…found that reservists’ reported symptoms of PTSD had little effect on the earnings of reservists in the years following deployment…”

Tax Credits (Work Opportunity Tax Credits WOTC)

I have always thought tax credits were not effective because they were “paper work” intensive and anecdotal information indicated large employers were not interested (and would rather have training expenses paid for) and small employers didn’t know about or understand the credits. Plus there was a delay in getting the financial benefit of a tax credit.

Contrary to my thinking RAND found that the new tax credits of 2007 and 2008 “…the new credits cost $610 million or less over 2007 and 2008, while increasing veterans’ yearly income by more than $1 billion”. (emphasis mine)

There was also some belief that employers would take advantage of the tax credit and hire disabled veterans they would have hired anyway. RAND “…researchers estimated that the 2007 tax credit expansion added 32,000 disabled veterans to the employment rolls in 2007 and 2008 – veterans who would otherwise have been unemployed  - and increased aggregate earnings of the target group by 40%”.

Another positive outcome found by RAND was” The jobs were primarily full time rather than part time, and employment grew for veterans with both cognitive and physical disabilities”.

Support Services for Veterans’ Transitions

What was surprising to me is that RAND did not mention the VA/DOL/DOD/DOT Transition Assistance Program (TAP) but rather mentioned three initiatives two of which I don’t believe are well known. The three are the 100,000 Jobs Mission; Army Partnership for Youth Success (PaYS); and Beyond Yellow Ribbon.

The 100,000 Jobs Mission is the best known of the three and is an initiative currently maintained by JPMorgan Chase and has been very successful. In November 2014 RAND released a report on the 100,000 Jobs Mission and one of their recommendations was:

DoD, the Department of Labor, and the Department of Veterans

Affairs should continue to improve and evaluate TAP. We heard from employers that transitioning service members struggle to translate military skills to market themselves successfully in the civilian job market, but it is unclear whether the companies were referring to graduates of the newly enhanced and expanded TAP. These agencies should also engage the private sector in TAP sessions, such that transitioning service members can benefit from the input and guidance of actual employers.

RAND points out in this latest report the original goal was to hire 100,000 veterans by 2020. However they far exceeded that goal in 2015 at which time 206 participating employers had hired in excess of 265,000 veterans.

The PaYS and Beyond Yellow Ribbon have not been as successful.

Mental Health Issues

We heard before that RAND estimated about 20% of deployed servicemembers are experiencing symptoms of PTSD or depression. RAND currently estimated the cost related to PTSD (mostly lost production) is in the range of $4.0 billion to $6.2 billion and that is only during the first two years after their deployment ends.

What is surprising to me and may also be to you is RAND found “…the effects of PTSD on productivity and earnings may be smaller than previously thought”. This appears to contradict the earlier statement  “RAND currently estimated the cost related to PTSD (mostly lost production) is in the range of $4.0 billion to $6.2 billion and that is only during the first two years after their deployment ends”.

They estimate the costs related to traumatic brain injury (TBI) to be from $591 million to 910 million “…and the major driver is mortality (often due to suicide)”.

Research Funding

In 2013 RAND reported something not surprising but alarming. What was not surprising is DOD “…is one of the largest U.S. funders of research related to suicide prevention. At the time DoD was funding 62 studies at a cost of almost $200 billion”.

What is alarming is “The study found that DoD was overwhelmingly funding research into already proven, mature prevention methods and was providing little funding in new areas I which it had the most potential to learn”.

There are several other issues in the report that are not included in this article. If you are interested in receiving a PDF copy of this report please contact me at consultrwd@yahoo.com.

About Drach Consulting, LLC

Drach Consulting, LLC is a service disabled veteran owned firm that was established after a successful career that includes 28 years with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and more than 8 years with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS).   Ron Drach, President of Drach Consulting, LLC has nearly 50 years experience working on veteran’s issues including employment, affirmative action, vocational rehabilitation, homelessness, transitioning service members, and disability issues. Ron is available to provide consulting services on the issues mentioned above or other issues related to veterans, wounded warriors, or people with disabilities

Ron Drach, President, Drach Consulting, LLC  


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                 ACCESSIBILITY CORNER: Eduardo Meza-Etienne                  " What Every Marketer Needs to Know About Inclusive Marketing" 

eSSENTIAL Accessibility logo

It is the age of the customer and marketers have the privilege of creating and owning the digital customer experience. A recent CEI Survey has shown that 86% of buyers will pay more for a better customer experience, but only 1% of customers feel that vendors consistently meet their expectations.

To tap into this market, however, marketers must make greater efforts across a number of different touch points, especially web and mobile. Inclusive websites are those that go beyond adherence to the WCAG 2.0 criteria (sidebar: this is an absolute must), they also provide assistive technology.

To learn more about how marketers can enhance the digital customer experience through inclusive marketing, download the white-paper.

    ODEP and Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Release New PSA Featuring Bo JAckson 

Blog by Curtis Pride
Those of a certain age may remember “Bo Knows,” a highly successful advertising campaign for cross-training athletic shoes that ran in the late 1980s and early 1990s. It was a series of television commercials featuring legendary athlete Vincent Edward “Bo” Jackson, who played both professional baseball and football at the same time — and was the first athlete to be named an All-Star in two major American sports.

Given his multi-sport prowess, Jackson was a natural personality to endorse shoes for multi-sport athletes.  Each spot showcased the many sports that “Bo Knows,” some with humorous vignettes of him trying his hand at everything from cycling to soccer to surfing. (In one, he also has a go at playing guitar, only to be scolded by blues legend Bo Diddley for his lack of musical talent.)

What the spots didn’t show is something else “Bo Knows” well, and I know, too — what it’s like to have a disability.  I am deaf, while Jackson has a speech impediment and he stuttered significantly as a child. With time and training, Jackson learned to self-manage his speech impediment by speaking slowly and deliberately. But he has shared that he remembers vividly how it felt to be judged based on his disability, which negatively impacted his confidence and resulted in poor performance in the classroom.

Although not private about this disability during his athletic career, Jackson has spoken about it more widely since retiring from sports, using his fame to help educate about the importance of judging people on what they can do — whether on the field, in school or at work. As Major League Baseball’s first disability ambassador, I am thrilled about his choice to use his powerful voice in this way.

Most recently, Jackson took time to record a new public service announcement for the Professional Baseball Athletic Trainers Society, which works through its Ability Transcends Challenges initiative to spread this important message far and wide across America through a variety of ballpark events and activities. We are now thrilled to co-brand and disseminate this PSA as part of our alliance with the Labor Department’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. It is the third in a series showcasing Major League Baseball’s long history of disability inclusion; the other two PSAs feature Jim Abbott, a former pitcher who was born with one hand, and yours truly.

Given his status as both a marketing and sports superstar, Jackson is clearly no stranger to the camera. But given the nature of his disability, his capability as a spokesperson could have easily been overlooked by many.  Fortunately, as he says in the PSA, “Sports has let people see me for what I could do.” Among many other things, “Bo Knows” the value of that message, and I’m thrilled that he has stepped up to the plate to help more people understand it, too.

Curtis Pride card

Curtis Pride is a former MLB outfielder and current head baseball coach at Gallaudet University. A person who is deaf, he is also MLB’s first disability ambassador, working to raise awareness about the skills and talents of people with disabilities, both on and off the playing field.

USBLN Announces DEI TOp Scoring Companies 


Fortune 500 companies lead 2016 DEI

Top scoring companies see value in participating in the survey

Washington, D.C. (July 13, 2016) – Today, the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) announce the results of the 2016 Disability Equality Index® (DEI®) survey. A comprehensive list of DEI top scoring companies deemed “2016 DEI Best Places to Work” can be found on the DEI website.

The DEI was completed by 83 Fortune 1000-size companies, two-thirds of these companies top the Fortune 500 list. 23 business segments were represented and the industries that had the highest number of participants include: aerospace and defense, energy and utilities, financial services, healthcare, insurance, pharmaceuticals, professional services, retail and telecommunications.

42 of these companies received 100 out of 100 on the survey, which recognizes a broad range of workplace, supply chain and marketplace activities. 16 companies scored 90 out of 100 on the survey and 11 companies received an 80 out of 100. Many of the 83 companies participated in last year’s survey and approximately 97 percent either maintained or increased their score.

DEI points are awarded in four major categories: Culture & Leadership, Enterprise-wide Access, Employment Practices and Community Engagement & Support Services. Companies receive points in any given area by responding affirmatively to a significant portion of the numerous best practices outlined.

A few highlights from the 2016 DEI include:

  • In the inaugural DEI, 66 percent of surveyed companies had a disability-focused employee resource group (ERG), with 64 percent having an executive sponsor (vice president or higher). The 2016 DEI survey revealed an increase with 84 percent of participating companies with an ERG, and 81 percent reporting having an executive sponsor.
  • In the inaugural DEI, 75 percent of companies reported having members of their senior executive teams (within first two levels of the chief executive officer) who showed external support of disability inclusion, either through board or working group membership, or through public statements. The 2016 DEI survey shows an increase with 87 percent of companies reporting having members of their senior executive teams showing external support. 

The survey gives companies an opportunity to reevaluate policies and practices and determine where the company stands in regards to being a best in class organization for disability inclusion practices.

"We are proud to see the year over year growth, improvement and results from participating companies,” said Jill Houghton, Executive Director, USBLN. “We know that policies alone don’t always translate into inclusion. The DEI provides a roadmap for advancing disability inclusion by enabling companies to see both strengths and areas of opportunity that exist across their organization, and provides a means to benchmark against their competitors and businesses as a whole. This is only the beginning of what’s to come as companies continue to embrace the DEI and work hard to take their disability inclusion policies and practices to the next level.”

“As we approach the twenty-sixth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and celebrate our achievements, we also recommit ourselves to ensuring all Americans with disabilities are able to build vibrant futures for themselves and their families, and the DEI can help make that happen," said Helena Berger, President and CEO of AAPD. "The DEI is an effective, non-punitive tool -- as demonstrated by the many returning companies who maintained or increased their score -- that builds a partnership between the disability and business communities to ultimately expand employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities and embrace the talents and skills we bring to the workplace."

Companies also shared what they like about the DEI survey. Here are a few responses:

  • “What I liked the most was that it keeps us proactive and focused on best practices."
  • “What I like about the DEI is that the survey questions are comprehensive as they relate to all areas of the company.”
  • “Helps us think about things differently and in a holistic way.”
  • "Some of the questions were truly eye opening and challenged us to make some important changes.”
  • “Questions are thought provoking and cause you to examine/review policies and practices."

By receiving a top score on the DEI, companies demonstrate significant business leadership, going far beyond compliance activities, driving their business success through leading disability inclusion policies and practices.

Registration for the 2017 DEI will open soon. Sign up on our mailing list to be notified when the registration window opens. To learn more about the DEI, view the DEI FAQs.

About the Disability Equality Index® (DEI®)

The DEI® is a joint initiative of the USBLN and AAPD. Developed by the DEI Advisory Committee, a diverse group of business leaders, policy experts, and disability advocates, the DEI is a national, transparent, annual benchmarking tool that offers businesses an opportunity to receive an objective assessment of their overall disability inclusion policies and practices. It is an aspirational, educational, recognition tool that goes far beyond legal compliance, helping companies identify opportunities for continued improvement, while building their reputations as organizations that value diversity and inclusion. 

The DEI was first introduced in 2012 and piloted in 2013-2014 with 48 companies prior to the official go-live launch of the inaugural DEI in Fall 2014, which concluded in 2015.

About the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®)

The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) is a national non-profit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The USBLN serves as the collective voice of nearly 50 Business Leadership Network affiliates across the United States, representing more than 5,000 businesses. Additionally, the USBLN Disability Supplier Diversity Program® (DSDP) is the nation's leading third party certification program for disability-owned businesses, including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

About the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is a convener, connector, and catalyst for change, increasing the political and economic power of people with disabilities. As a national cross-disability rights organization AAPD advocates for full civil rights for the 50+ million Americans with disabilities.

  Common Questions about Providing Equipment as an Accommodation

By: Elisabeth Simpson, Lead Consultant – Motor Team

As the Lead Consultant for the Motor Team, I am asked questions daily about the provision of equipment as an accommodation. Employers, individuals, and even rehabilitation professionals often ask if JAN provides equipment, who is responsible for buying equipment, and what resources are available to the employer if the cost of a piece of equipment would be an undue hardship.

Let’s start with the easy question first: Does JAN provide equipment? The answer is pretty simple. We do not provide or supply any type of equipment, technology, etc. Additionally, JAN does not offer on-site evaluations or worksite assessments of any type. We are limited, in a way, to providing assistance and guidance from a distance, but have developed an extensive product and vendor database for this reason. JAN consultants are trained to ask questions that help us better understand the work environment so we are able to offer accommodation ideas that are effective. When possible, we can direct you to where a piece of equipment or product can be purchased or even offer a variety of options for you to choose as the accommodation.

As for questions related to who is responsible for buying equipment — the EEOC has indicated that the employer is ultimately responsible for providing work-related equipment or devices as an accommodation, absent undue hardship. In some cases, an employee may be working with vocational rehabilitation services (VR) and the cost could be shared. In other cases, the employer can choose a less expensive accommodation as long as the alternative option selected is effective. In general, when an employer purchases a piece of equipment it is then owned by that employer. In situations where the cost is shared, it is important that a discussion take place as part of the interactive process so there will be a plan for what will happen with the equipment if/when the employee no longer needs it or no longer works for the employer.

Resources may be available for some employers to help with the cost of providing equipment as an accommodation. Tax credits could be taken advantage of if the employer qualifies or if the employee is part of a targeted group. Additional information about various tax incentives are available on JAN’s Website. Federal employers may be able to take advantage of the services offered by the Computer/Electronic Accommodations Program (CAP), which provides assistive technology and services to people with disabilities, Federal managers, supervisors, and IT professionals. Employees may be able to receive funding for assistive technology from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (if veterans or service members); the Social Security Administration’s Plan To Achieve Self-Support (PASS) and other work incentives; non-profit disability organizations; and civic or service organizations (Lions Club, VFW, Rotary Club, etc.). Employers can also look intostate workers’ compensation programs if the disability was caused by a work-related injury.

At the end of the day, it is important to remember that while there may be a cost associated with purchasing a piece of equipment, there are many options available for employers to consider when this is the accommodation being provided. Additionally, the EEOC has offered guidance on how to determine undue hardship and JAN consultants on all teams are ready and willing to discuss options with you!

   The Female Michael Jordan

Event Invitation - Complete text follows


In Honor of the Americans with Disabilities Act Anniversary,
U.S. Department of Labor invites you to a screening of the film:

Mind/Game: The Unquiet Journey of Chamique Holdsclaw

Followed by a moderated conversation with Chamique Holdsclaw and Academy-Award nominated filmmaker, Rick Goldsmith

DATE: Wednesday, August 10, 2016
TIME: 2:00 p.m. – 3:30 p.m.
PLACE: Department of Labor

200 Constitution Avenue NW
Washington, DC 20210
(Entrance at 3rd and C Streets)

Everyone is welcome!

The story of “the female Michael Jordan” from troubled family life to the WNBA and Olympics reveals a long-hidden journey with mental illness and near-suicide. This powerful account of a remarkable African-American LGBT woman follows Holdsclaw’s obstacles, successes and setbacks, and provides an instructive and inspiring portrait of one person’s struggle to mental health recovery.

RSVP: Via this link by Thursday, August 4.


We are happy to publish newsworthy articles that address the business perspective of disability issues.

Share your news via email kmccary@dcmetrobln.org for the

September 2016 Newsletter no later than August 25, 2016

Upcoming Events in the DC Metro Area & Beyond

nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar Series- AUGUST

August 5, 2016 Episode 6 12 PM to 1 PM EST 

Live webinar hosted via Zoom Webinar 

Register Today!

Presenter Bios 

Andrew Houtenville, PhD is an Associate Professor of Economics and Research Director of the Institute on Disability at the University of New Hampshire. Dr. Houtenville is extensively involved in disability statistics and employment policy research. He has published widely in the areas of disability statistics and the economic status of people with disabilities. He is the Principle Investigator on the NIDILRR -funded Employment Policy and Measurement Rehabilitation and Research Training Center. Dr. Houtenville received his Ph.D. in Economics from the University of New Hampshire in 1997 and was a National Institute on Aging Post-Doctoral Fellow at Syracuse University in 1998/1999. He was also a Senior Research Associate at Cornell University and New Editions Consulting in McLean, Virginia. 

John O’Neill, Ph.D., CRC is the Director of Employment Research at the Kessler Foundation. He currently serves as the Project Co- Director of two NIDRR-funded Rehabilitation Research and Training Centers (RRTC), “Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Disability Statistics and Demographics” and “Rehabilitation Research and Training Center on Individual-Level Characteristics Related to Employment Among Individuals with Disabilities” He is a former principle investigator of the RRTC on the Community Integration of People with TBI, and worked for more than eight years on NIDRR-funded research to improve the quality of vocational rehabilitation services for persons with AIDS. For six years Dr. O’Neill sat on the NY Rehabilitation Council and was the Council’s representative working with the State vocational rehabilitation agency to create a comprehensive system of personnel development. Dr. O’Neill also directed the graduate program in rehabilitation counseling at Hunter College, CUNY for 25 years. He is a guest editor for the Rehabilitation Counseling Bulletin for an upcoming special issue on Disability, Person -Environment Interaction and Employment (Spring 2013). Dr. O’Neill is a national expert in the employment of individuals with disability. He recently joined KF as Director of Vocational Research. In this capacity, he will work with the NNJTBIS as a co-investigator focused on dissemination activities regarding employment issues in TBI. Dr. O’Neill will additionally serve as a co-investigator on our site specific research project, assisting with the measurement of employment-related outcomes.

Gallaudet University Workshop

Best Practices for Hiring and Working with Deaf and Hard of Hearing Employees 

Friday, September 23, 2016 8:00 am - 4:30 pm

You are invited to a complimentary workshop sponsored by the Gallaudet University Career Center! The workshop will address topics related to best practices for hiring and working with deaf and hard of hearing employees.

Participants will:

  • Learn how to develop effective relationships with deaf and hard of hearing persons in the work environment; 
  • Gain an understanding of the various communication methods used by deaf and hard of hearing individuals;
  • Increase knowledge of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and reasonable accommodations

RSVP now for this free comprehensive workshop! 

Monica Garvin, 202-651-5438 or monica.garvin@gallaudet.edu


RIT's National Technical Institute for the Deaf 16th Annual Job Fair

Are You Looking forTalent? 

Check out this Upcoming Career Fair

Wednesday, October 19, 2016

Meet potential future co-ops, interns or permanent employees—part of a vast talent pool of well-trained and tech-savvy students, recent graduates and alumni from the National Technical Institute for the Deaf at RIT, the world’s premier technological college for deaf and hard-of-hearing people.

Here’s the Job Fair Schedule of Events:

  • 09:00 - 10:00 AM     Employer Check-in and Refreshments
  • 10:00 - 11:00 AM     Workshop for Employers
  • 11:00 - 11:30 AM     Employer Job Fair Set-up
  • 11:30 - 12:30 PM     Employer/Faculty Lunch Buffet
  • 12:30 - 04:00 PM     Job Fair

To register, go to:


Additional Information

  • Click here for more information regarding hotels, material shipping, and Job Fair registration payment
  • If you wish to interview students on Thursday, October 20, 2016 please contact Mary Ellen Tait at mary.ellen.tait@rit.edu



Mary Ellen Tait, Job Fair Coordinator: email mary.ellen.tait@rit.edu 

23rd Annual Mid-Atlantic ADA Update           

Wednesday, September 14 and Thursday, September 15, 2016

New Location This Year:

Hilton Baltimore

401 West Pratt Street, Baltimore, Maryland 21201

The Mid-Atlantic ADA Update is the region's leading conference on the  Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).  This year's conference features:

Federal Agency Panel with representatives from:
  • U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission  
  • U.S. Department of Justice
  • United States Access Board    
  • Federal Transit Administration   
20 Breakout Sessions on a variety of topics
    Keynote Speaker on September 14
    Chris Kuczynski, Assistant Legal Counsel, ADA/GINA Policy Division, U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
      Pre-Conference Session "ADA Overview" - Tuesday, September 13- No additional charge!


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        USBLN Conference  


        The USBLN has opened registration for "Disability Inclusion: The Future Redefined" its 19 Annual Conference and Biz2Biz Expo. Last year's conference sold out and this year the event is expected to bring together more than 1,000 attendees from across the country.

        The USBLN is the only business to business NATIONAL membership organization, with local affiliates, that focuses on sharing and developing proven strategies for including people with disabilities in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace.

        This premier event provides the best and brightest in disability inclusion with cutting-edge educational sessions, enhanced networking, exciting interactive programming plus high-profile speakers. We look forward to seeing you in Orlando!

        Workplace: Gain information, resources and business connections that will help advance disability inclusion policies and practices. These sessions will focus on creating an inclusive workplace, effective outreach, recruitment and retention strategies, and addressing hidden biases. Learn how to help others in your organization understand this business imperative through the creation and development of business-focused disability resource affinity groups and much more.

        Marketplace: Discover key trends, strategies and dynamic practices on how to effectively market to consumers with disabilities. Find out how to tap into a customer base with $220 billion in spendable, discretionary income.

        Supply Chain: Learn how disability-owned businesses including firms owned by service-disabled veterans can enhance supplier diversity programs and diversity and inclusion efforts in public and private sectors. Gain business case rationale and begin identifying and connecting with potential suppliers among the certified businesses in attendance. Certified businesses, including those owned by service-disabled veterans, will learn about current trends in supply chain management and supplier selection criteria. Business to business networking and relationship-building opportunities will be plentiful.

        Professional Development: Are you a professional with a disability interested in accelerating your growth and leadership opportunities? Engage with and learn from global leaders with disabilities, to confidently bring your whole self to the workplace, and the ways in which to enhance career progression.

        Leadership Academy: Targets college students and recent graduates with disabilities, including those with veteran status, and provides two days of pre-conference skills building leadership development and networking activities in addition to the full conference sessions. Meet and interact with potential employers in your field of study or area of interest in a professional and energizing setting. Businesses in attendance will have the opportunity to engage with the rising leaders through interactive development workshops, facilitated networking and matchmaking sessions, resume-building activities and more.

        About Us

        The DC Metro Business Leadership Network is an employer led non-profit that uses a business-to business model offering education, training programs and resources to change attitudes and address concerns of businesses so that they learn how to proactively include people with disabilities in the workforce, marketplace and supplier diversity.

        Myra Wilder, Chair

        Marriott International

        Andrea Hall, Vice Chair


        Ellen de Bremond, Treasurer

        The Choice, Inc.


        • Michelle Crabtree, Hyatt 
        • Donnielle DeMesme, Golden Key Group
        • Dan Ellerman, Northrop Grumman
        • Denyse Gordon, CACI
        • Anna Irani, EY
        • Patricia Jackson, Booz Allen Hamilton
        • Eduardo Meza-Etienne, eSSENTIAL Accessibility
        • Jacqui Winters, Deloitte & Touche

        Advisory Board

        • Ron Drach, Drach Consulting, LLC (Chair, Wounded Warrior Committee)
        • Charlesiah McLean, Leidos
        • Dan Sullivan, KPMG
        • Jenn Sharp, KPMG
        • Sue Werber, C5 Consulting, LLC (Chair, Youth Committee)
        • Ann Rader, Former NCD
        • Kia Silver Hodge, Lockheed Martin
        • Dinah Cohen, Dinah Cohen Consulting, LLC (CAP Director, retired)
        • Rich Luecking, President Emeritus, TransCen, Inc.

        CEO, Executive Director: The Honorable Katherine O. McCary, C5 Consulting, LLC

        Copyright © 2016 DC Metro BLN. All rights reserved.
        Contact email: kmccary@dcmetrobln.org
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        Office: +1 (111) 111-1111, Fax: 111-111-1111, Address: 2222 Street, City,Suite 123B | State 0