Register today for the 24th Annual Mid-Atlantic ADA Update! Early Bird ends today!

DC Metro Business Leadership Network Monthly Newsletter: August 2017

USBLN is now Global

A note from Jill Houghton, President and CEO of USBLN 

Jill Houghton For over 20 years, USBLN has helped business drive  performance by leveraging disability inclusion here in  the U.S.Today marks the first day USBLN begins to serve  communities outside of the U.S.

 Our corporate partnership network, which is growing year over  year, has come to USBLN requesting we bring our leading  disability-owned business enterprise -or DOBE- certification  program abroad. We're excited to announce that we've just  launched our on-line global self-registry for suppliers outside of the  United States, providing them a unique opportunity to join a global  network of suppliers. This is just our first step as we explore a global growth strategy for some our signature programs such as the Disability Equality Index and the Disability Supplier Diversity Program, just to name a few. 

As our multi-national corporate partners navigate a global workplace, supply chain, and marketplace, we stand alongside them in continuing our commitment to advance the inclusion of people with disabilities around the world. We are also working alongside our alliances with NGLCC, WBENC, WEConnect International and others from the National Business Inclusion Consortium in expanding various global diversity inclusion efforts. This is especially important as "disability does not discriminate" and there are many non-visible disabilities. We live in an intersectional world and our global approach is also multi-dimensional.

We are excited for the GLOBAL road ahead and we hope you can join us. Our newly launched global self-registry for disability-owned business enterprises can be accessed here: 

Jill Houghton signature

Table of Contents

2017 DC Metro BLN Programs


USBLN 20th Annual Conference

Orlando -USBLN 20th National Conference & Biz2Biz Expo
August 21-24, 2017

Download the Agenda

Are you attending this year's conference? On August 21, the USBLN Affiliates will meet to discuss trends, share best practices and network. The DC Metro BLN would like to invite our members to meet up prior to the Opening Reception in the Hotel Lobby!


DXC Technology

Mental Illness: Stay at Work/return to Work Strategies for Employers


September 12, 2017

8:30 am - 12:00 pm

DXC Technology

1775 Tysons Boulevard, Tysons, VA  22102


Anne Hirsh

Anne Hirsh


Job Accommodation Network


DC Metro Business Leadership Network

DC Metro BLN 3rd Annual Gala


Mark Your Calendar!!

Tickets and Sponsorships Open

October 18, 2017

1775 Tysons Boulevard, Tysons VA 22102

Tickets: $150 (Early Bird $100 until September 1)

Contact Katherine McCary to become a Gala Sponsor!

  • Platinum $10,000
  • Diamond $5,000
  • Gold  $2,500
  • Silver $1000
  • Crystal $500

*The 2017 Gala will continue the work of the Millennial Employer Collaborative! Stay tuned for details! Sponsors receive Gala tickets and 2018 Program Passes.


4th Annual Federal Updates: ODEP, OFCCP, EEOC, VETS

Host and Date Pending

Our 2018 Calendar is Under Construction!

Request for Hosts!

If your organization wants to host a 2018 program, please contact Katherine McCary by September 15. Our programs feature the Host's Disability Leadership, a keynote speaker and a Share Forum. Currently we are looking for hosts beginning in January for our  annual events on these topics: Assistive Technology and Accommodations, Wounded Warriors, Community Partners, Supplier Diversity, Millennials, Autism and Mental Health. Other topics will be identified by our members. 

2017  Membership

2017 Annual Membership Levels

Level  Annual Fee  Program Registration
 Platinum  $10,000 No Program Fees 
 Diamond  $5,000 $65 
 Gold  $3,000 $65 
 Corporate  $1,500 $65 
 Non-Profit  $750 $65 
 Small Business  $750 $65 
 Individual  $175 $65 
 Individual/SHRM  $150 $65 
 Student  $50 $30 

Virtual Program Registration (As Available):          $45

Webinar Attendee:                                                 $25

Webinar Attendee - Member :                                $15

Non-Member:                                                         $125

Membership Dues may be combined with Gala Sponsorship* for ONE combined annual invoice! Contact us to receive an invoice!

2017 Discussion Board- NEW SECTION ADDED

Discussion Board Updates

It's all about the MEMBER NETWORK! All members have access to the Discussion Board where they can comment on topics including veterans, accommodations, Millennials, community partners and accessibility. Log on to  start a discussion!

DC Metro BLN Discussion Board

In the News - Articles of Interest

Veterans Corner: New TAP Curriculum Updates & Online Access

Ron Drach
Ron Drach

Last year alone, as part of the Transition Assistance Program (TAP), the Labor Department taught more than six thousand employment workshops for nearly 200 thousand transitioning servicemembers in locations all around the world.  As a component of TAP, DOL provides the mandatory three-day Employment Workshop (DOLEW) and is also now responsible for the optional two-day Career Technical Training Track curriculum. Licensing, credentialing and apprenticeship programs have a significant impact on connecting transitioning servicemembers with good-paying civilian jobs and meaningful careers.

To keep the content current, VETS is conducting a comprehensive review of both courses using input from employers, Veteran Service Organizations and other stakeholders, who have unique perspectives and expertise with veteran employment.  The revised curriculum will be taught in TAP classes throughout 2018. 

The full workshop is available at no cost online and in a mobile e-Book on Amazon for anyone who wants to access the training anytime, anywhere.

For more information on DOL VETS you can visit and follow us on twitter @VETS_DOL

About Drach Consulting, LLC
Drach Consulting, LLC is a service disabled veteran owned firm that was established after a successful career that includes28 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    

Accessibility Corner: Accessibility Testing Tools: Useful, When Used Properly

Eduardo Meza-Etienne
Eduardo Meza-Etienne

Accessibility testing tools can help evaluate, to a certain extent, whether not a website is usable by people with disabilities. These tools are designed to find and identify digital barriers that might prevent someone with a physical, vision, hearing or other disability from reading content, filling out forms, understanding instructions, or any of the other ways people might interact with a website.

Accessibility testing tools often come in the form of downloadable software programs. Others can be used online. Many, but not all, are free. Although these tools won’t convert a website into a barrier-free one, they can save you some effort when you’re striving to make improvements to accessibility, and they can be a good starting point.

Let’s explore why.

What is Digital Accessibility?

Digital accessibility means that a website, mobile site, app or electronic document is free of any barriers that would prevent people with disabilities from using it. Many people who have vision disabilities, for instance, use a type of assistive technology called a screen reader – it reads aloud any text on the screen – and if a website isn’t designed with this in mind, it may not be easily readable. This incompatibility can effectively shut out all people who rely on screen readers to go online.

If you think that’s a small number of potential customers, you should know that there are close to 24 million men and women with vision loss in the U.S., according to National Health Interview Survey data. The CDC reports the total number of adults with disabilities as more than double that.

There are many types of disabilities. Some people may not be able to handle and click a mouse, while others may have trouble focusing on a screen that moves and flickers, or are unable to hear audio files. That’s why the universal technical standards for web accessibility, Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG) 2.0, take into account all different disabilities. A website that closely follows WCAG 2.0 is truly as barrier-free as possible, regardless of an individual’s ability.

How Reliable are Accessibility Testing Tools?

When it comes to evaluating a site for its accessibility you’ll often hear that no one testing tool, certainly not an automated one, can take the place of human expertise.

To truly determine how accessible and functional a website is, a great deal of manual code reviewing and functional testing is involved. Different kinds of assistive technology must be used. Human judgment must often be applied – this might be the only way to know, for example, whether a block of alternative text accurately describes an image or not.

Furthermore, automated accessibility testing tools are known for their false positives and false negatives – they report barriers where there are none, or they ignore existing barriers. In a recent audit of 10 automated tools by the United Kingdom’s Government Digital Service, over half of the digital barriers that had been intentionally inserted into a web page were missed. One tool missed 91% of the barriers, proving that automated accessibility testing tools can’t be relied upon completely.

While we do agree that they can’t be relied on fully, we also believe there’s a place for these downloadable programs, mobile apps and online accessibility checkers. Automated accessibility testing tools can save time and simplify some of the repetitive processes involved in evaluating a website. They can also give a general overview of a website’s accessibility. They can check very specific components of a complex website, since some accessibility testing tools are more specialized.

Many Kinds of Automated Accessibility Testing Tools

In fact, there’s quite a wide range of testing tools available with different functions and potential applications, often addressing different kinds of disabilities as well. For example:

  • Some check how well a website complies with specific laws or guidelines, like 508 Checker. It automatically tests against the requirements of Section 508 of The Rehabilitation Act. Others check for compliance with WCAG 2.0 standards.
  • Some generate reports only. Others offer automatic fixes for certain types of barriers, like Accessibility Checker by CKSource.
  • Some list accessibility problems without providing any explanations. Others give more detail about why they’re considered barriers, and how they can be improved.
  • Some test the accessibility of multimedia, such as video files or animation.
  • Some specifically examine PDF files.
  • Some evaluate color contrast problems and suggest improvements, such as Tanaguru Contrast Finder.
  • Some are meant for evaluating mobile websites, such as UserLight’s Mobile Web Accessibility Checker.

In addition, there are differences in whether a tool tests an entire website or only one page at a time, whether reports can be customized depending on the role of the individual who will be using them, and which web technologies (CSS, HTML, etc.) are supported.

Choosing Accessibility Testing Tools

Many compliance consultants will use a combination of different accessibility testing tools to carry out their evaluations. (False or misleading test results, by the way, are much less of an issue when they’re being interpreted by experts.)

The World Wide Web Consortium (W3C)’s Web Accessibility Initiative, which develops the WCAG 2.0 standards, has compiled a searchable Web Accessibility Evaluation Tools List2 to make it easier to pinpoint which tools might best meet your needs. Other web service providers have curated their own selections, such as this list of Top 25 Awesome Accessibility Testing Tools for Websites.

As we’ve said above, it takes human judgment and hands-on testing to complete a proper accessibility evaluation. Accessibility testing tools are useful. But they’re just that: tools. They can’t make your website completely accessible to all visitors with disabilities. They can’t even be depended upon to find all digital barriers on a site. They can help, however, in carrying out the job.

Improving the accessibility of your website is an opportunity to welcome the business of a significant target market – with a ripple effect, as people with disabilities often influence the spending of family and friends. And as web designer Garenne Bigby, author of the “Top 25” list above, astutely points out, online accessibility doesn’t only benefit people with disabilities. It’s also helpful for seniors, people with temporary injuries, and even those with sluggish Internet connections. If you haven’t yet explored a web accessibility solution for your organization, this should be a priority.

Trending: Website Accessibility Lawsuits under Americans with Disabilities Act on the Rise

By Joseph J. Lynett and Jamerson C. Allen

Jackson Lewis

For years, lawsuits under Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act concerning places of public accommodation were confined to brick-and-mortar physical barriers, such as steps, excessive slopes in parking lots, and routes that were too narrow for individuals in wheelchairs to use. Read full article

CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion

CEO Action for Diversity & Inclusion

Last month, CEOs from more than 150 of the world’s largest corporations collectively committed to advancing workforce diversity and inclusion and encouraging open discussion about related issues within their companies. The initiative, called “CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion,” entails a pledge and a database of member company’s efforts around workplace diversity and inclusion, including those related to people with disabilities. The coalition also plans to hold a summit in the fall to share best practices and welcome other companies who have joined the effort. Learn more about CEO Action for Diversity and Inclusion

Upcoming Events in the Area and Beyond 

Are you looking for talent? Don't miss these two fabulous Career Fairs  

Gallaudet University 

Gallaudet University's Fall Internship & Job Fair

Friday, October 6, 2017
11 AM - 3 PM 
Field House Gymnasium

The Career Center is excited to announce our Fall 2017 Internship and Job Fair!  Participating in this event will provide employers with opportunities to recruit from hundreds of eager and qualified candidates, add to diversity recruitment strategies, and increase or maintain visibility at the world's only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.

Register today to secure a spot!

We provide our guests with convenient free on-site parking and access to comfortable accommodations at the Gallaudet University Kellogg Conference Center and Hotel (for those traveling to Washington, DC).  All exhibitors will be served a continental breakfast and a hot lunch. Registration also includes two representatives, booth, and free Wi-Fi.

To register, please do the following:

Returning Employers and New Employers:

Register or Log in: Bison CareerLink Account

Registration Fees

Business and Government

  • Regular Registration Fee: $550.00
  • Late Registration: $650.00 (after September 21, 2017)
  • Extra Reps:$50.00 each 

Education and Non-Profit

  • Regular Registration Fee: $300.00
  • Late Registration: $400.00 (after September 21, 2017)
  • Extra Reps:$50.00 each

Cancellation Policy

Request for registration cancellation/refunds must be made in writing by 5:00 pm on Thursday, September 21, 2017. Please send your request to  Employers that do not attend the day of the fair are still responsible for paying the registration fee in full if their request is not received by the cancellation deadline.

RIT National Technical Institute for the Deaf

Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) will conduct its 17th Annual Job Fair

Wednesday, October 18, 2017
RIT Campus: One Lomb Memorial Drive, Rochester, NY


9:00-10:00 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 AM-12:30 PM         Lunch and Outstanding Employer Partner Awards Ceremony

12:30-4:00 PM                 NTID Job Fair     


Career Fair Description

The NTID Job Fair is an annual Fall event hosted by the NTID Center on Employment. At this event, deaf and hard-of-hearing students and alumni of RIT  attend to network and learn about employment opportunities with  employers who are seeking candidates for co-op and permanent/ full time positions!

nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar Series

Friday, August 4, 2017 at 12 Noon EST.

Join us for our monthly webinar detailing findings of the latest Jobs Report release, announcements from the Disability Employment field, and a guest presentation.

                                       National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE)

nTIDE Lunch & Learn - Season 2, Episode 8

12:00 pm: Overview of National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) Jobs Report Release – Andrew Houtenville, UNH-IOD & John O'Neill, Kessler Foundation
12:15 pm: News from the field of Disability Employment – Denise Rozell, AUCD
12:30 pm: Guest Panelist, TBD
12:45 pm: Open Question & Answer period for attendees

About the nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar
On the first Friday of every month, corresponding with the Bureau of Labor Statistics jobs report, the nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar will take place as a live broadcast via Zoom Webinar to share the results of the latest nTIDE findings. In addition, we will provide news and updates from the field of Disability Employment, as well as host an invited panelist who will discuss current disability related findings and events. The archived webinar will be available as a video as well as an audio-only download the following week.

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center

September 13, 2017 1:00pm to September 15, 2017 3:00pm

Sheraton Tysons Hotel
8661 Leesburg Pike
Tysons, Virginia 22182

Mid-Atlantic ADA Update

Registration $425  

Early bird $375 through August 1

Including Featured Business Focused Sessions

  • Employer- provided leave and the ADA  
  • IT accessibility for your business  
  • Creating a culture of disability inclusion
  • Reasonable accommodation and the interactive process
  • Millennials with disabilities in the workplace  
  • Best practices for customer service
  • 2010 Standards for Accessible Design

Featured Speakers include:

DC Metro Business Leadership Network

Equal Employment Opportunity Commission

Capital One  

Northrop Grumman  

DXC Technology

Booz Allen Hamilton 

More information:

For Sponsorship Opportunities Download Sponsorship Form

The Mid-Atlantic ADA Update is presented by the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center, a project of TransCen, Inc.

The Mid-Atlantic ADA Center invites corporations, organizations and agencies to become sponsors, exhibitors or advertisers at the Mid-Atlantic ADA Update. Download our Sponsor-Exhibitor-Advertiser Package for more information and an application. Questions? Contact the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center at or call 301-217-0124.

Save the Date

Profiles in Success Brought to you by Bernhardt Wealth Management

Please join us for the 4th annual Profiles in Success Celebration

on November 7, 2017 at Dock 5 in Washington, DC

Cocktails and Plated Dinner

Registration Information will be forthcoming

Featured Speaker at the

2017 Profiles in Success Celebration

The speaker for the 2017 Profiles in Success Celebration is Michael May. Mike is the subject of the 2007 best-selling book by Robert Kurson, Crashing Through: The Extraordinary True Story of the Man who Dared to See.  At the age of three Mike lost his sight at home in a chemical explosion. During his keynote he will share some of his extraordinary accomplishments. In the meantime, you can read more about Mike in Volume 13.

Designated Charity for the

2017 Profiles in Success Celebration

Most of the Profiles in Success Community knows Tony Cancelosi. Tony is the President and CEO of Columbia Lighthouse for the Blind (CLB) and a Profiles in Success Alum featured in Volume 5. Given Mike May's unique story CLB will be our featured charity for the 2017 Profiles in Success Celebration. Please spread the word and help us raise money for CLB this year. Any fundraising ideas you have for the night of the Celebration would be appreciated.

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.

Andrea Hall, Chair

DXC Technology

Dan Ellerman, Vice Chair


Brooke Thomas, Secretary

Lockheed Martin

Ellen de Bremond, Treasurer


  • Jenn Bassett, JBG Companies
  • Karen Cook, Gallaudet University
  • Michelle Crabtree, Hyatt 
  • Sophie Howard, General Dynamics IT
  • Patricia Jackson, Booz Allen Hamilton
  • Misty Koper, EY
  • Charlesiah McLean, Leidos
  • Eduardo Meza-Etienne, eSSENTIAL Accessibility
  • Dan Sullivan, KPMG
  • Myra Wilder, Marriott International
  • Emily Yee, Deloitte

Advisory Board

  • Dinah Cohen, Dinah Cohen Consulting, LLC (CAP Director, retired)
  • Ron Drach, Drach Consulting, LLC (Chair, Wounded Warrior Committee)
  • Donnielle DeMesme, Golden Key Group
  • Rikki Epstein, The Arc of Northern Virginia
  • Denyse Gordon, CACI
  • Tisha Herne, AudioEye
  • Karen Herson, Concepts, Inc.
  • Dorothy Meekins, Evolver, Inc.
  • Bryan Moseley, TCS Associates
  • Chrissone Palmer, EY
  • Ann Rader, Healthcare Transformation, Strategy Execution & Management Consultant Leading Innovative Solutions
  • Carrie Schroeder, PwC
  • Jenn Sharp, KPMG
  • Kia Silver Hodge, Lockheed Martin
  • Sue Werber, C5 Consulting, LLC (Chair, ME Committee)

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

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