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DC Metro Business
Leadership Network


Monthly Newsletter: January 2016


Katherine McCary

Executive Director, CEO

We are very excited to be starting off the New Year with a robust focus on youth outreach and transition. Our Youth and College Transition Committees will be focused on growing our outreach to employers eager to hire youth talent and just as imperative, helping youth to better understand the employer perspectives for successful employment and careers. 

Some of these plans include a cloud-based learning series for college students and graduates to help them better understand Section 503, self-ID and accommodations. If you are an employer interested in supporting this activity, let us know. If you are a millennial who would like to share your story, contact us!

As we enter 2016, we will be delivering programs to address key employer issues, including youth, veterans, assistive technology, supplier diversity, employee resource groups, caregivers and community partners. Our Disability@Work Free Webinar Series will include perspectives and presentations from our BLN Affiliates. We look forward to continuing our efforts to educate and empower a "business to business" dialog for full disability inclusion.

Want to make a real difference in disability inclusion for your organization this year? Become an executive member and start increasing your employee engagement!                         

                            Check out our newest Platinum Member Level!

Table of Contents

                  Disability@Work                              FREE National Webinar Series Continues

Our January 13th Webinar 
has reached capacity!
If you were unable to register but would like to receive a copy of the recorded session, please register here.

"Understanding Cerebral Palsy in the Workplace"  

January 13, 2016                                                                   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? 

Our Speaker: 

O'Ryan Case is the Director of Membership and Public Education at United Cerebral Palsy. As part of this role, he manages UCP's My Life Without Limits and My Child Without Limits programs, which support individuals with a range of disabilities and their families and caregivers respectively. O'Ryan holds a Master of Public Health degree from Kaplan University and Bachelor of Science degree from Salisbury University.

This session will cover:

Myths and Fears 

Disability Etiquette and Language

Success Stories at Work


Please watch for dates and topics for February and March coming soon!

Join or "Up" Your Membership Today

                        WHY BECOME A MEMBER OF THE DC METRO BLN

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!

                                          TWO YEAR EXECUTIVE MEMBERSHIPS

New Categories and New Benefits


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

Leidos logo

Articles of Interest

2016 Workforce Recruitment Program OPEN 

The 2016 Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) database was launched on December 15, 2015. Sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor (DOL) in cooperation with the U.S. Department of Defense (DoD), the WRP is the premier resource of college students and recent graduates with disabilities, from over 300 campuses nationwide, who are seeking summer or permanent employment in federal agencies and private companies worldwide. 

Anyone with a .gov or .mil email address can access the WRP database directly by signing up as an employer at Every candidate is Schedule A eligible, and the database is searchable so employers can find job candidates with the specific skills they require. Employers in the private and non-profit sectors can gain access to the WRP through the Employer Assistance and Resource Network (EARN). 

DOL Deputy Secretary Chris Lu penned a blog, "Diversify Your Workforce," about the using the WRP as a key tool to meet disability inclusion goals.

• Access the database if you are a federal employer
• Access the database if you are a private or non-profit employer
• Read Deputy Secretary Lu's WRP blog

WRP is managed by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) and the U.S. Department of Defense's Office of Diversity Management and Equal Opportunity (ODMEO).

                                    Just Say "Hi"                                       Cerebral Palsy Foundation Campaign

What's the best way to approach a person with a disability?

It's simple: Just say hi.

Just Ask Siri!

The fear of doing or saying the wrong thing when interacting with an individual with a disability often means we may avoid the interaction. Conversely, one of the hardest parts of having a disability is social rejection, or having people avoid eye contact or become tongue-tied by the possibility of saying something wrong. According to the World Bank, 1 billion people — 15% of the world’s population — live with some form of disability.

To celebrate its 60th anniversary, the Cerebral Palsy Foundation (CPF) launched a new public service campaign Tuesday called "Just Say Hi," addressing the uneasiness and hesitation some might feel around people with physical and intellectual disabilities.

Please enjoy and share this growing video library. So many terrific individuals shared their voice to help address the unnecessary hesitation some people feel around disabilities. "We want to share the message that there is nothing difficult about interaction with people with disabilities," William H. Macy said. "We can all simply start a conversation like we do with everyone — by just saying, 'Hi.'"

Tim Cook added his voice (and Siri’s) to the campaign. Tim’s combination of keen mind and kind heart is displayed every time that he communicates his vision to the world. His outreach now includes the “Just Say Hi” campaign.

Cerebral palsy is the most common motor disability in children, according to the CDC's latest statistics, affecting approximately 1 in 323 American kids. Worldwide, 17 million people live with cerebral palsy.

You can join the conversation online by using the hashtag #JustSayHi.


EARN Employer Spotlight: Capital One

At the DC Metro BLN, we are always thrilled to share employer best practices. Capital One, a VABLN Member, has a story we want to share, as distributed by a recent EARN newsletter.

                              Capital One logo

As part of its focus on inclusion and diversity, Capital One in Richmond, VA, has set up an internship program aimed at bringing in young people on the autism spectrum to work at the company. The program, called Autism at Work, originated in 2009 as the brainchild of Capital One associates with children on the autism spectrum. The program continues to thrive, and four of the interns who completed the program now work full-time at Capital One.

Learn more about Autism at Work

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

Share your news via email for the

February 2016 Newsletter no later than January 21, 2016

Upcoming Events in the DC Metro Area & Beyond

                                  JAN logo

Best Practices: Addressing Workplace Harassment  

Employer’s Responsibilities

January 12, 2016                                                                                       2:00 pm ET

This Job Accommodation Network (JAN) webcast will address types of workplace harassment, which can constitute discrimination under the Americans with Disabilities Act and other laws, and steps employers can take to prevent and rectify it. Speakers include Anne Hirsh, JAN Co-Director; Dr. Jeffrey Daniels, Associate Professor of Counseling Psychology at West Virginia University; and Dexter Brooks, Associate Director of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission’s Office of Federal Operations. 

Register for the webcast

Cornell University logo

Workplace Bullying, Harassment, and Disability

January 13, 2016                                                                           1:00 – 2:00 pm ET

This online training, sponsored by the Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability at Cornell University, will explore the legal differences between workplace bullying and harassment and how, as members of a protected class, people with disabilities may have legitimate cause to claim the latter, which unlike the former, is prohibited by law. It will also address strategies employers can use to foster safer, more inclusive workplaces that prevent both.

Register for the webinar

Advisory Committee on Increasing Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities to Meet January 27-28, 2016 

The Advisory Committee on Increasing Competitive Integrated Employment for Individuals with Disabilities (the Committee) will hold its seventh meeting on January 27-28, 2016 via webinar. The meeting will be open to the public and will take place each day from 1:00-5:00 PM EST. During the meeting, the Committee's four subcommittees will report to the whole Committee on their work since the submission of the Interim Report and their areas of focus for the Final Report. There will be a public comment period on January 27, 3:30-4:30 PM EST. Instructions on submitting comments can be found in the Federal Register Notice. Members of the public wishing to participate in the webinar must register by January 15, 2016.

Read the Federal Register Notice regarding the public meeting

Register for both days of the webinar

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.


• Michelle Crabtree, Hyatt 

• Donnielle DeMesme, Golden Key Group

• Denyse Gordon, CACI

• Dan Ellerman, Northrop Grumman

• Eduardo Meza-Etienne, eSSENTIAL Accessibility

• 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 (Chair, Youth Committee)

• Ann Rader, Former NCD

• Vinece Pastor, Blue Sky Consulting, LLC 

• 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 © 2016 {Organization_Name}. All rights reserved.
Contact email: {Organization_Contact_Email}
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