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DC Metro Business
Leadership Network


Monthly Newsletter: December 2015

Celebrate the Season 

Support our 2016 Youth and College Transition Programs

Myra Wilder, Marriott International

 Board Chair

As the year draws to a close, I would like to thank our entire Board of Directors and our Advisory Board for their support this year. Additional thanks go to our Gala Sponsors, our Executive Members and our Outreach Committees. We are looking forward to offering even greater opportunities for our members to network with each other as we all work toward attracting and retaining talent with disabilities, especially youth

Please join us for fun and friends on December 2nd at 6 pm at the National Youth Transition Center. We will have a small silent auction and share more about our 2016 plans. We look forward to seeing you there! 

Your ticket donation will support our 

2016 Youth and College Transition Programs! 

Picture of the National Youth Transcition Center building

2013 H St, NW   Lobby Washington, DC 20006   
6pm - 8pm   Buy A Ticket

Table of Contents

                         Disability@Work                              FREE National Webinar Series

Our Final 2015 Webinar

"Understanding Cerebral Palsy in the Workplace"  

December 15, 2015                                                    11:30am – 1:00pm EST

What are some barriers to employing and retaining workers with cerebral palsy? What can employers do to remove or reduce these barriers? What types of technology exists to make the worker productive? This session will cover the following:

Myths and Fears 

Disability Etiquette and Language

Success Stories at Work



The 2016 Calendar is shaping up! Check back on our website soon for our first quarter events and webinars!

Join or "Up" Your Membership Today

Welcome LEIDOS and Concepts, Inc

Our newest Executive Members!

Leidos logo


Concepts Inc. logo

Join Before January 2016 and get an Extra Month Free!

Take advantage of 2015 prices and enjoy an extra month of membership! Get 13 month benefits at 12 month pricing! Member rates to increase in 2016- take advantage now!

Why Join

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!

DIAMOND EXECUTIVE MEMBER $5,000: Recognition as a Lead Employer on our Website, in all 12 Newsletters and at All Programs. Your organization will be prominently displayed in all our social media. As a Diamond Member, you may join the new DC Metro BLN Corporate Advisory Board.

GOLD EXECUTIVE MEMBER  $3,000: 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 organizational membership (unlimited # of employees per organization). If you have already renewed for 2014, you will receive an additional two years of membership.

(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 

Articles of Interest

 International Day of Persons with Disabilities  

The International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD), to be observed on December 3, 2015, has been commemorated since 1992 to promote awareness and mobilize support for critical issues related to the inclusion of persons with disabilities in society and development. The IDPD works to promote action to raise awareness about disability issues and draw attention to the benefits of an inclusive and accessible society for all. The theme for 2015 is “Inclusion matters: access and empowerment for people of all abilities”. Governments, UN agencies, civil society organizations, academic institutions and the private sector are encouraged to partner with organizations of persons with disabilities to arrange events and activities to commemorate the Day.

Learn about the IDPD

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 ILR Online Webcast Series - Improving Employment Outcomes for People with Disabilities

This archived webcast is free of charge and is closed captioned.

This webcast focuses on the potential role of technology to enhance employment for people with disabilities in two ways - job and career path opportunities, and the creation of technology-based tools for facilitating productivity in select job tasks, including access to workplace communication channels.

Representatives from Cornell University, private and government organizations in the technology sector, and related global non-governmental organizations discuss initiatives to increase employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the technology sector, and to increase technology accommodation innovations affording access to the workplace.

The program is hosted by Susanne Bruyère, director of ILR's K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Employment and Disability Institute, and Linda Barrington, the ILR School's associate dean for outreach and sponsored research.

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ODEP Launches OnLine Tool for Small Business and Business Associations 

While smart employers know they should ensure their workplace is inclusive of the skills and talents of people with disabilities, not all businesses — particularly small ones — know where to start. To help, the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) has created “Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success”. The free, online toolkit provides practical guidance for small businesses on how to recruit and retain qualified people with disabilities. It also describes approaches business associations — including but not limited to local chambers of commerce and business leadership networks — can use to educate their members on the issue and raise awareness in their communities. Offered as a service of the ODEP-funded website, the “Steps to Success” were developed based on information gleaned from ODEP's Add Us In initiative, which has worked to identify and develop strategies to increase employment opportunities within the small business community for individuals with disabilities. Day Al-Mohamed, senior policy adviser at ODEP and manager of Add Us In, penned a blog discussing the impact that the toolkit can have on disability inclusion in small businesses.

JAN releases Just in Time Training Module on              "Bridging the Gap Across Transition"   

The Job Accommodation Network (JAN) has released a new, 18 minute, Just-in-Time training module entitled “Bridging the Gap Across Transition”. The training module is designed to provide information for youth about their rights under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as well as to help young people navigate their way from the school system to post-secondary education, training, or the world of work. Topics discussed include self-advocacy, disability disclosure, sufficient medical documentation, and types of accommodations that might be needed. An accessible transcript of the presentation is available to download from the site.

View the Just-in-Time module

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Millennials with Disabilities: DC Metro BLN College and Young Professionals Committee Looking for NEW Members!  

In January 2015, the DC Metro BLN held its second event that focused on millennial with disabilities in an effort to successfully connect employers and talent through education and awareness activities. We will be growing this effort in 2016 and invite you to join us! We will be holding our first meeting in late January. Contact us for details.

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

Share your news via email for the

January 2016 Newsletter no later than December 21, 2015

Upcoming Events in the DC Metro Area & Beyond

Small Business & Disability Employment: Steps to Success! 

December 8, 2015 2:00 - 3:00 p.m. ET 

This webinar will address concrete steps small businesses can take to become more inclusive of people with disabilities along with strategies business membership associations can use to educate their members about the value disability diversity adds to their workplaces and communities. A new online resource developed to help small businesses and business associations take action around the issue will also be demonstrated. Participation is free, but registration is required and space is limited. So be sure to reserve your spot today

This event is approved for 1.5 HR general recertification credit hours through the HR Certification Institute.

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN) is a resource for employers seeking to recruit, hire, retain and advance qualified employees with disabilities.  It is a service of the National Employer Policy, Research and Technical Assistance Center for Employers on the Employment of People with Disabilities (Employer TA Center), which is funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy under a cooperative agreement with The Viscardi Center.  For more information, visit 

Preparation of this material was funded by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, Grant No. [OD-26451-14-75-4-36].  This document does not necessarily reflect the views or policies of the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, nor does the mention of trade names, commercial products, or organizations imply endorsement by the U.S. Government.

Student Veterans of America National Conference 2016

Jan. 7-10, 2016

Disney's Coronado Springs Resort

Orlando, Fla.

Start the New Year by representing your chapter, building your network, and exploring how you can use your education to change the world.

Need assistance getting to Orlando? SVA is awarding travel grants to hundreds of student veterans.

For more info on travel grants and to register, visit:

USBLN 19th Annual National Conference 

September 19-22, 2016 

If you attended the 2015 Conference in Austin, you know how amazing this conference is! For those of you who tried to register late, you know the conference sold out TWO weeks in advance. Mark your calendar now. Once registration is open, we will send out an announcement so you won't miss the 2016 conference being held in Orlando next year!

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


Mirelle King, Secretary

Lockheed Martin

Ellen de Bremond, Treasurer

The Choice, Inc.

Will White, Assistant Treasurer

Deloitte & Touche, LLP


• Michelle Crabtree, Hyatt 

• Donnielle DeMesme, Golden Key Group

• Denyse Gordon, CACI

• Dan Ellerman, Northrop Grumman

• Brandon Lyons, EY

• Eduardo Meza-Etienne, eSSENTIAL Accessibility

• Evelyn Miller, Raytheon

• Patricia Jackson, Booz Allen Hamilton

Advisory Board

• Tara Dunlap, General Dynamics

• Ron Drach, Drach Consulting, LLC (Chair, Wounded Warrior Committee)

• Sherif Ettefa, KPMG

• Mark Fitzgerald, KPMG

• Sue Werber, C5 Consulting, LLC (Marriott, ret)

• Jim Hammond, Deloitte

• Ann Rader, Former NCD

• Vinece Pastor, Blue Sky Consulting, LLC (former Board Chair)

• Kia Silver Hodge, Lockheed Martin

• Dinah Cohen, Dinah Cohen Consulting, LLC (CAP Director, retired)

• Rich Luecking, TransCen (retired)

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

Copyright © 2015 {Organization_Name}. All rights reserved.
Contact email: {Organization_Contact_Email}
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