Support our 3rd Annual Gala October 18- Tickets are on sale today! Become a Sponsor!

DC Metro Business Leadership Network Monthly Newsletter: October 2017

Celebrate NDEAM with the DC Metro BLN

Celebrate Tomorrow's Leaders Today

3rd Annual Gala

October 18, 2017

1775 Tysons Boulevard, Tysons VA 22102


April Holmes

Be Inspired by April Holmes, Paralympic Gold Medalist, Motivational Speaker and Marketing Consultant, EY

Enjoy Networking and Participate in our Live Auction!

The DC Metro BLN is the proud winner of the prestigious 2017 USBLN Affiliate of The Year. We are the only BLN Affiliate to have been recognized twice for the award, having also received it in 2012. Our recognition comes from the hard work and passion of our board and team. A driving focus of our BLN is the work we do with Millennials and Employers. (ME Collaborative)

It is with great pleasure to  announces our 3rd Annual Gala theme, “Engaging Tomorrow’s Leaders Today,” supports our commitment to youth with disabilities.

Become a Sponsor, donate an item to our Live Auction, Buy a Ticket! 

Tickets $150

Contact Katherine McCary to donate to the Live Auction

Sponsors Achieve Brand Recognition at the Gala and 

All Year Long on our Website !

  • Platinum $10,000  Ten 2017 Gala Tickets Ten Guest Passes to 2018 Programs
  • Diamond $5,000  Six Gala Tickets, Five Guest Passes to 2018 Programs
  • Gold $2,500 Four Gala Tickets Two Guest Passes to 2018 Programs
  • Silver $1,000 Two Gala Tickets One Guest Pass to 2018 Programs
  • Crystal $500 Two Gala Tickets

Funds raised will address three most critical areas for both employer and millennial talent

Preparing the Pipeline of college students and graduates for successful career transition by supporting our ongoing ME Collaborative e-Learning for area universities. 

Connecting the Pipeline through a series on industry-specific virtual career fairs that will more effectively and successfully connect talent with careers.

Building the Pipeline will include two 2018 roundtable discussions among employers, universities and students on branding, building trust and professional careers.

Help us to make this year's Gala the best ever!!

Inclusion drives innovation - National Disability Employment Awareness Month

Reflecting the important role that different perspectives play in workforce success, this year's National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) theme is "Inclusion Drives Innovation." Observed each October, NDEAM celebrates the contributions of workers with disabilities and educates about the value of a workforce inclusive of their skills and talents. 

Table of Contents

2017 DC Metro BLN Programs


Jennifer Sheehy

"A Conversation with Jennifer Sheehy"

November 16, 2017


Location Pending

Jennifer Is the Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Disability Employment Policy, Department of Labor. The Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) is the only non-regulatory federal agency that promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities. ODEP's mission is to develop and influence policies and practices that increase the number and quality of employment opportunities for people with disabilities. Its vision: A world in which people with disabilities have unlimited employment opportunities.

In this session, Jennifer will share the current work being undertaken at ODEP and future initiatives. She will talk about ODEP'S Technical Assistance (TA) Centers, its Alliances and the broad resources and research to support the private and federal sector to hire, retain and promote more individuals with disabilities in the workforce. 

This is a unique opportunity to informally engage with Jennifer, share your organization's disability leadership and hear of best practices from others. 

Our 2018 Calendar is Under Construction!

Request for Hosts!

If your organization wants to host a 2018 program, please contact Katherine McCary by October 16. 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

Open Membership offers 12 months of benefits and supports our mission.
New Member Benefit! 
Looking for 2018  In-House Training? Members enjoy SME training at 50% savings! Contact Katherine McCary to learn more!
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 Program Fee:                                  $125

DC Metro BLN Board News

DC Metro BLN Welcomes New Board Member, Bob Vetere
Bob VetereThe DC Metro BLN is pleased to announce the addition of Bob Vetere to serve on its Board of Directors. Bob is well known in the business disability inclusion field and the DC Metro BLN is honored to have him on the Board!

Bob Vetere has a very successful career with Northrop Grumman Corporation since March 20, 1978, with many achievements in the Business Management organization.  His current role is Corporate Manager, Disability Partnerships, after assisting in the development of, implementation and administration of Northrop Grumman’s Harmonized Reasonable Accommodation initiative. Bob is a strong advocate for the employment of qualified individuals of all abilities and has served in many roles and has achieved many accomplishments inside and outside of Northrop Grumman, including the following:

  • March 2017 – Bob was recognized by the AFB – American Foundation for the Blind and awarded the 2017 Stephen Garff Marriott Leadership Award for his work to change the culture in the workplace.
  • September 2016 – Bob was named Mentor of the Year at the USBLN Conference & inducted into the Susan M. Daniels Mentoring Hall of Fame by the NDMC – National Disability Mentoring Coalition.
  • ·January 2009, appeared on the cover and was the featured article in “Careers & The disABLED” magazine
More about Bob 

DC Metro BLN Discussion Board

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. We have just added a Supplier Diversity Discussion Board- Log on to join the discussion!

New Member Benefit Coming in 2018
In House Training
DC Metro BLN Organizational Members will soon have the opportunity to schedule in-house training at 50% savings! This in-house training (1.5-3 hours) is for your organization exclusively delivered by C5 Consulting, LLC team of experts.  Ideal for your Senior Leadership or Disability ERG, topics include:
  • Disability 101
  • Accessibility
  • The Business Case for Disability Inclusion
  • Building the Talent Pipeline
  • Making Reasonable Accommodations Successful
  • Hiring Managers: What You Need to Know
  • Building an Inclusive Culture
  • Self-ID Benefits Everyone
Contact Katherine McCary to learn more!

In the News - Articles of Interest

Disability Supplier Diversity Program - DSOP US Business Leadership Network

Disability Supplier Diversity Corner 

Katherine McCary
Katherine McCary
C5 Consulting, LLC
WBENC Certified Woman- Owned Business Enterprise
USBLN Certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprise
The DC Metro BLN recently launched its Three-year Disability Supplier Diversity Initiative and received a check for $3,000 from Well Fargo which was presented at the 2017 USBLN Conference. 
USBLN Affiliates recipients for Wells Fargo contribution
The DC Metro BLN is one of seven BLN Affiliates supporting these goals: 
Increase the number of disability owned businesses to certify through the USBLN DSDP Certification  (DOBE)
Increase the numbers of Corporate Supplier Diversity professionals to learn about and recognize DOBE Certification
Increase DC Metro BLN Membership of both

To achieve these goals, the DC Metro BLN has formed a Disability Supplier DIversity Committee (DSDC) and named tow co-chairs to lead the initiative: KP Simmons, Small Business Liaison Officer, Defense, Space & Security, The Boeing Company and Rick Rogers, President, The Resource Network and USBLN Certified DOBE. Rick was recently highlighted in the USBLN News. The Resource Network (, a USBLN Certified DOBE® helps to connect resources within and between organizations to catalyze a multiplier effect that optimizes the bottom line.  Their services include Access and Information Integration; Business and Contact Intelligence; Partner Programs as well as Collaboration & Customer Relationship Management.

Boeing                   The Resource Network

Breaking DSDC News!

Deaf Entrepreneurship Network

The DC Metro BLN has been invited to speak and exhibit at the 2017 Deaf Entrepreneurship Network Convention November 3-4, 2017 in Washington, DC.

Accessibility Corner: The Importance of Accessible PDFs

Eduardo Meza-Etienne
Eduardo Meza-Etienne, Certified Professional in Accessibility Core Competencies
 DC Metro BLN Accessibility Chair

The Portable Document Format, or PDF, was introduced by Adobe Systems in 1993. Its purpose was to make it easier to share electronic documents, especially those that contained visual material or special formatting. A PDF document would look identical to everyone who opened it, no matter what kind of computer, device or software program was used to create it, view it or print it. The fonts, graphics, margins and layout would always display in the same way.

PDFs are in widespread use today. At the 2015 PDF Technical Conference, Adobe Systems’ Vice President of Engineering, Phil Ydens, estimated that about 2.5 trillion new PDF documents are created per year. That’s close to 350 PDFs per person on the planet. The international PDF Association has stated that the number may actually be four times higher than Ydens’ estimate.

PDFs Can Bring Obstacles for Customers with Disabilities

PDF documents and forms may be popular, but unfortunately, they are not usable by people with disabilities – not unless certain barriers have been removed. That’s why it’s essential to make sure that PDF accessibility is a top priority when creating or distributing these documents.

Disabilities affect 19 percent of the population. Ydens acknowledged at the conference that not enough PDF documents are currently following an accessibility standard. People with disabilities “need to be able to participate in the digital world,” he noted. “We need to step up our game.”

Since the look of a PDF document is essentially locked in, this format has great advantages. It’s useful for certified or legal documents like contracts, or publications such as e-books, because the contents are controlled and can’t be easily changed.

It’s also a popular format for documents that have a lot of design elements, such restaurant menus or weekly sale flyers, because they’ll always display in the same way no matter how or where they’re opened. Since PDFs are universal, a Mac user can share them with a Windows user, and vice versa, and they can be downloaded from websites.

Unfortunately, there’s a dark side to having all of a document’s attributes locked in place. If those attributes were not initially coded to be accessible, then any barriers are going to stay in place. No manner of assistive technology or software will allow people with disabilities to read them easily. To these clients and customers, PDF might as well stand for “Problem Document Format.”

PDFs Barriers Often Come with the Package

When a PDF isn’t purposely created to be accessible to everyone, several kinds of barriers are often automatically included. For instance, if there is an image in the document that did not have alternative text (alt-text) added to it, then a person using a screen reader will not be able to discern what’s in the image. If the parts of the document were not set in proper sequence, then the person won’t be able to read the document in proper order or tab through the form fields. If an area of text was scanned, then it won’t be readable by assistive technology at all, since it’s essentially an image instead of words.

There are many settings and situations in which people with disabilities can be confronted with inaccessible PDFs. Perhaps they’ve downloaded a user manual they can’t read with their screen reader, or a form they can’t fill out using only a keyboard. Perhaps they can’t access a train schedule, phone bill, bank statement, events calendar or terms and conditions document. It’s frustrating, and it’s also a violation of their right, under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), to not be given the same level of customer service as everyone else.

Why Aim for Accessibility

That’s not to say that PDFs should be avoided. The features that make them appealing – such as being shareable across different computer platforms and devices – are useful whether or not you have a disability. But whenever a new public-facing PDF is created, it should be done to an accessible standard. If it hasn’t been, then it should be remediated as quickly as possible.

Improving PDF accessibility doesn’t enhance only the experience of customers with disabilities. In many ways, it makes your content more usable by people who don’t have disabilities. For instance, anyone who tries to display your PDF on a small-sized screen, such as that of a mobile phone, will be able to see it properly if the document has been structured in the proper order. Anyone who prefers to use the keyboard instead of a mouse to jump from one form field to the next – yes, there are a great many of us – will have a smoother experience if the pre-set tab order follows the proper sequence.

Easy Steps to Better PDFs 

Fortunately, there are already standards out there. The international PDF Association released a standard for accessible PDFs in 2012 and provided an update in 2014. The World Wide Web Consortium’s Web Accessibility Initiative, which publishes the Web Content Accessibility Guidelines (WCAG), has issued a set of PDF Techniques to ensure that PDFs are fully accessible and follow WCAG. Adhering to these guidelines is a way to make certain that you are complying with the ADA and other laws such as Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act.

A few tools are available from Adobe to assist with PDF accessibility, but they have limitations. For instance, Acrobat DC Pro, its software for manipulating PDF documents, has a “Make Accessible” option, which will prompt you to take action if it finds certain barriers like images without alt-text, or missing titles. It has limitations, however. It isn’t guaranteed to find all barriers, and it won’t be capable of automatically fixing all problems without your input and judgment.

Acrobat DC Pro’s “Accessibility Checker” feature will scan your document for a few specific accessibility features and issue a report, but it can produce false positives – it will flag areas that are not problematic – and it won’t provide guidance for items that require manual checking.

If you don’t personally have expertise in PDF accessibility, consult with a firm that is qualified to help. Otherwise, you can end up wasting time and resources without any guarantee that you will successfully find and remove all PDF barriers. An expert can ensure that your documents are fully accessible to people with disabilities, while enhancing the usability of PDFs for all your customers and clients, whether or not they have a disability.

Please contact Eduardo with any questions regarding digital accessibility.

Workplace Accommodations Prove to be 
“Low Cost, High Impact”

The Job Accommodation Network released the 2017 update to its annual “Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact” study. The research,which has been conducted annually since 2004, indicates that the majority (59percent) of workplace accommodations cost nothing, while for those that do, thetypical small expenditure pays for itself multiple-fold in the form of reduced insurance and training costs and increased productivity and morale.

 Read “Workplace Accommodations: Low Cost, High Impact”

The Sierra Group's Certified Disability Recruiter Program

The Sierra Group - Disability and Employment Leaders

Classes start in January! 

The Sierra Group’s Certified Disability Recruiter Program allows professionals in the field of recruiting and allied recruitment/talent management and human resource functions to earn the designation of Certified Disability Recruiter (C.D.R.). Sierra Group’s Certified Disability Recruiter Program combines our 25-year history as a leading expert in all areas of disability and employment practices for business with hands-on “skills”, as we teach and deploy certified recruiters who can appropriately hire from this diverse candidate pool. This certification process takes our knowledge base and transfers it to actual skill building for recruiters who interact with candidates with disabilities.


Certified Disability Recruiter Program (2 years) -$399.00

Certification (10 courses)

Regular 2-year certification - $399.00

Recertification (1 year) - $199.00

Reports Released Highlighting SAW/RTW Policy Collaborative Online Dialogue Series

ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

The final summary reports for Stay-at-Work/Return-to-Work Policy Collaborative online dialogue series are now available. These virtual crowdsourcing events, hosted by the Office of Disability Employment Policy's SAW/RTW Policy Collaborative and ePolicyWorks, sought input and ideas from the public and other stakeholders, including subject matter experts, on SAW/RTW policies and communications. During the three dialogues hosted between March and July, 252 registrants submitted 62 ideas, 406 comments and 431 votes. The ideas and comments gathered will be used to further guide the work of ODEP's SAW/RTW Policy Working Groups to develop policy recommendations, resources and materials to assist states and stakeholders in improving services to injured or disabled workers.

    Take the


    NOD - Disability Employment Tracker

     The 2018 Tracker opens on October 1st 2017!

    By completing the 2018 survey, your company can be eligible to compete for the 2018 NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal and the 2018 DiversityInc Top 50 Companies for Diversity.  If you have any questions, please contact NOD at

    Join RespectAbility in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month!


    By Jennifer Lazlo Mizrahi, CEO & President

    Jennifer Lazlo Mizrahi

    Every day, millions of Americans with disabilities are striving for work, upgrading their skills and advancing their educations. The month of October is the perfect opportunity to celebrate. That is we invite you to join us in celebrating National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

    Inclusion Drives Innovation

    NDEAM is an annual event focused on the incredible talents of the one-in-five Americans who have disabilities. In a statement to kick off NDEAM this year, U.S. Secretary of Labor Alexander Acosta said, “smart employers know that including different perspectives in problem-solving situations leads to better solutions. Hiring employees with diverse abilities strengthens their business, increases competition and drives innovation.”

    You don’t have to look hard to see the tremendous things people with disabilities can accomplish. Indeed, top companies including EY, Starbucks, Google and others have found the people with disabilities can be amazing at their jobs. If you look even further, you will find that some of the most innovative people have/had disabilities! This includes Richard Branson, Harry Belafonte, Charles Schwab and Barbara Corcoran who are all dyslexic. Arthur Young, founder of Ernst & Young, was deaf and vision impaired. Selena Gomez has Lupus and Shark Tank’s Desmond James is hearing impaired. Harriett Tubman had Epilepsy while Painter Frieda Kahlo had polio. Scientist Stephen Hawking, billionaire Sheldon Adelson and Gov. Greg Abbott are all mobility impaired.

    NDEAM is an opportunity to celebrate such role models and continue to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. Advancing opportunities requires willing employers that understand the talents people with disabilities bring to the work place. Where do we find those employers? We find them in the incredible work of both the National Organization on Disability (NOD) U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and its local Affiliate the DC Metro Business Leadership Network.

    Looking at national trends and global employers only tell part of the story. If you look more closely at states and communities, you can find tremendous stories of success. Did you know that in states like Wyoming and South Dakota, over 50% of people with disabilities have jobs? Did you know that half of all people with disabilities living in Montgomery, County Maryland are employed? These stories and others like them so what people with disabilities can accomplish. They show how states and communities can work together towards a better, more inclusive future.

    Yet, what is unique to these places that make them so successful? There are no easy answer but part of the story depends on attitude. As the late Representative Major Owens once said, “greater than all the physical barriers are the barriers of entrenched attitudes.”Attitudes will only change when the true story of the talents, skills and abilities of people with disabilities are shared widely in our communities and in our culture. NDEAM gives all of us a chance to share those stories!

    Need ideas for how to celebrate? ODEP has you covered! The U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) distributes a wide range of resources to make your October a true success. Check out their NDEAM materials for employers, educators, agencies, advocacy groups and more.

    The Campaign for Disability Employment also has a range of resources. Need inclusive, diverse images for your monthly newsletter? Need a toolkit to help promote inclusion? Want to feature videos about diverse people with tremendous talents? They have you covered!

    Do you work at the state level? Do want an example of how to promote disability employment? Look no further than South Dakota and Tennessee. Not only does South Dakota have one of the highest employment rates for people with disabilities in the country, they are also at the cutting edge of changing perceptions. Their AbilityForHire efforts clearly put the focus on changing ideas and seeing ability. Likewise, Tennessee Works is spearheading an innovative effort called the Hire My Strengths social media campaign. This campaign affirms that anyone and everyone (with a disability or not) has strengths and should have high expectations for success.

    Hosting an NDEAM event somewhere this month? Have a success story to tell about jobs for people with disabilities? Let us know about it through social media, and we can share it with our followers!

    Need data or resources about disability employment, workforce development or stigma reduction? Explore our expanded tools and free resources at our new Solutions Center.

    Best of all, we have an extensive back catalog of webinars showcasing some of the most innovative thought leaders working today on disability employment issues. Do you want to learn more about how to better serve job seekers with disabilities? Do you want to implement innovative strategies for supporting youth with disabilities? All of our webinars are available for FREE on our website.

    Happy National Disability Employment Awareness Month!

    Upcoming Events in the Area and Beyond 

    Career Fairs

    Gallaudet University's Fall Internship & Job Fair

      Gallaudet University

    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

    • Registration: $650.00 
    • Extra Reps:$50.00 each 

    Education and Non-Profit

    • Registration: $400.00 
    • Extra Reps:$50.00 each

    Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT)  
    17th Annual Job Fair
    RIT National Technical Institute for the Deaf

    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!



    National Business & Disability Council at The Viscardi Center

    October 12, 2017

    Albertson, NY


    NBDC cordially invites you to join us on October 12th to recognize National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM). The NDEAM-focused event will be hosted by the National Business & Disability Council (NBDC) at The Viscardi Center at our campus located in Albertson, New York.

    The purpose of this event is to bring together employers to learn about the newest disability employment trends and philosophies, to share best practices, to appreciate the workforce-wide value of accessible technologies, and to provide a first-hand look at the work The Viscardi Center is doing to increase employment opportunities for youth and adults with a variety of disabilities. The event will include a tour of our one-of-a-kind facility, including an opportunity to experience the Henry Viscardi School which educates 170 children with severe physical disabilities and empowers them to be the leaders and full members of our workforces of tomorrow.


    Featured Panelists Include:

    Additional information or questions, please feel free to contact Scott E. Wright, NBDC Manager, at or at 516-465-3748

    Webinar - PEAT Talks

    Strategies to Drive Awareness and Engagement at a Large Enterprise

    PEAT - Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology

    October 19, 2017 

    2:00 pm to  3:00 pm EDT


    Mark Penicook will discuss Capital One’s efforts to integrate accessibility awareness across their internal brand and to establish enterprise-wide accessibility standards and best practices. 

    Mark Penicook is Senior Manager of Accessibility at Capital One and currently leads the Digital Accessibility Team within the Enterprise Services organization. He works with designers, software engineers, product owners and managers across the company to ensure that all of Capital One’s web, mobile, and messaging applications are usable by everyone, including those with disabilities.

    PEAT Talks is a monthly virtual speaker series to showcase organizations and individuals whose work is advancing accessible technology in the workplace. Held the third Thursday of every month at 2pm ET, these events are designed to be energetic and interactive discussions highlighting a spectrum of exciting work. To see upcoming events in this series, please visit our calendar. Our webinars are always free (preregistration required). 

    Miss a recent webinar? The archived video, transcript, and presentation slides will be posted approximately 1-2 weeks following the event date.

    Technology Changes Everything:

    Innovating to Include People of All Abilities in a More Diverse Workforce

    Cornell University Founded A.D. 1865 

    Conference location:   Baruch College

    October 26 - 27, 2017


    To create a forum to discuss how technology is opening possibilities to move the needle on employment - new assistive technologies and accessibility features, new technology applications that require specialized talent, creating opportunities for people with differences like autism, virtual offices and mobile technologies which enable work by anyone, anytime, anywhere. Format will include keynote and panel presentations by leaders who are shaping the industry and dialogue around how disability inclusion in the workplace and product design is good business.

    Target audience        

    Leading technology companies, technology innovators and technology enabled companies such as financial and professional services firms; public policy makers; university and college educators promoting disability inclusion among future professionals in the technology sector.


    A summary report (based on the proceedings) of leading practices, including what's next, issues and challenges, and recommendations for employers, educators and policymakers.

    Registration coming soon! 

    For questions about disability employment practices and policies or to learn more about customized training and consultation contact us:

    BenchmarkABILITY distills the results of our Employer Practices Rehabilitation Research and Training Center’s work into a user-friendly site that focuses on leading practices to promote disability inclusion in the workplace. Six short surveys can be taken at your own pace on the following topics: Recruitment & Hiring, Career Development & Retention, Accessibility & Accommodation, Diversity & Inclusion, Compensation & Benefits, and Metrics & Analytics.

    The 4th Annual Profiles in Success Celebration

    Profiles in Success Brought to you by Bernhardt Wealth Management

    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.

    3rd Annual Veterans Awards

    The Vetty Awards

    January 20, 2018 | The Mayflower Hotel | Washington, D.C.  

    It is with heavy hearts we witness the devastation caused by Hurricane Harvey. For this reason, in order to remain true to our driving principle of serving our fellow citizens, the Academy of United States Veterans will donate 50 percent of the 3rd Annual Veterans Awards' profits to helping restore the livelihoods of our fellow citizens who have been affected by this life-changing disaster. 

    Academy of US Veterans
    We are grateful for everyone who has supported our mission up to this point and hope they are as encouraged as we are moving forward. Please join us for the 3rd Annual Veterans Awards (Vettys) as we honor those who have served our country while we serve its people in need. 

    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
    • Misty Koper, EY
    • Charlesiah McLean, Leidos
    • Eduardo Meza-Etienne, eSSENTIAL Accessibility
    • Dan Sullivan, KPMG
    • Bob Vetere, Northrop Grumman 
    • 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.
    • Patricia Jackson, Booz Allen Hamilton
    • 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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