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DC Metro Business Leadership Network Monthly Newsletter: September 2017

DC Metro BLN Wins 

Affiliate of the Year 


DC Metro BLN Corporate Members EY, KPMG and  Northrop Grumman

among Fortune 500 winning disability inclusion awards

Myra Wilder, Katherine McCary and Andrea Hall receiving Affiliate of the Year AwardOn August 23, 2017 the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) presented top awards during the USBLN 20th Annual National Conference and Leadership Awards Dinner in Orlando, Florida. The Leadership Awards celebrate outstanding commitment and leading disability inclusion practices from individuals and organization across all industries.

The Affiliate of the Year Leadership Award honored the DC Metro Business Leadership Network as having demonstrated exemplary efforts in promoting the vision, mission and spirit of the USBLN. The DC Metro BLN has helped the local DC area understand, utilize, and benefit from the valuable resources that people with disabilities present in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace.

The John D. Kemp Leadership Award was given to Steve Howe, U.S Chairman and America’s Managing Partner, EY as an individual who has developed or influenced the development of significant company disability employment programs and/or services that resulted in measurable, tangible and positive outcomes that dramatically improved disability employment opportunities.

The Advocate of the Year Leadership Award recognized Tim Ruddell, Manager, Supplier Diversity & Sustainable Procurement, KPMG, as a procurement champion who has demonstrated outstanding commitment to the utilization and growth of disability-owned businesses. Ruddell has also provided exceptional support for certified Disability-Owned Business Enterprises- DOBE®s, Veteran-Disability Owned Business Enterprises (V-DOBEs™) and Service-Disabled Veteran Disability-Owned Business Enterprises (SDV-DOBEs™).

The Employee/Business Resource Group of the Year Leadership Award recognized Northrop Grumman Corporation as having exemplary programming and practices for its employee group that provides business value to the company and professional growth for its members

The 2017 USBLN Leadership Award winners are:

  • The John D. Kemp Leadership Award – Steve Howe, U.S Chairman and America’s Managing Partner, EY
  • Affiliate of the Year – DC Metro Business Leadership Network
  • Supply Chain Advocate of the Year– Tim Ruddell, Manager, Supplier Diversity & Sustainable Procurement, KPMG
  • Employee/Business Resource Group of the Year – Northrop Grumman Corporation
  • Employer of the Year (Over 100,000 employees) – IBM
  • Employer of the Year (Under 100,000 employees) – Florida Blue
  • Global Disability Leadership Award – Justin Nelson and Chance Mitchell, Co-Founders, National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce
  • Marketplace Innovator of the Year, Disability Inclusive Advertising/Marketing – ESPN
  • Marketplace Innovator of the Year, Disability Inclusive Product– Microsoft
  • Supplier of the Year – Tic Toc
  • Top Corporation for Disability-Owned Businesses – Comcast NBCUniversal

Sophie Howard, Lynn Kirkbride, Katherine McCary, Myra Wilder, Andrea Hall, Dinah Cohen, Monica Garvin, Dan Ellerman

The photos from the Leadership Awards Dinner will be on USBLN website on this page:

Table of Contents

2017 DC Metro BLN Programs


DXC Technology

"Mental Health Issues in the Workplace"


September 12, 2017

8:30 am - 12:00 pm

DXC Technology

1775 Tysons Boulevard, Tysons, VA  22102


Anne Hirsh

Anne Hirsh


Job Accommodation Network

"Stay at Work/Return to Work Strategies for Employers"

Learning to effectively manage employee mental health is a business imperative. The National Alliance on Mental Illness reports one in five people are dealing with a mental health challenge. Other research reveals that people with depression have a 2.5 times higher risk of on-the-job injury. The focus of this session will be the importance of creating inclusive workplaces free of the stigma that often accompanies disabilities such as mental health conditions. These inclusion efforts enable employers to bolster their Stay at Work/Return to Work efforts keeping valuable talent in their workforce. An examination of best emerging practices for supporting employees with mental health challenges throughout their employee life cycle. A short training video will be used to provide insight into managing an employee with a mental health concern.

In this session, attendees will 

Learn about some of the more complex accommodation situations employers face related to mental health impairments and become familiar with real examples and practical guidance to resolve these types of issues with accommodation solutions and improve on their stay at work/return to work programs.

Become familiar with the reasonable accommodation requirements of the ADA and practical tips for providing and maintaining effective accommodations for those with mental health impairments.

Take away specific accommodation and ADA tools and resources available to them and demonstrate knowledge of implementing an effective interactive process and training managers on implementing effective accommodations.

Lori Golden

Lori Golden

Abilities Strategy Leader

EY Building a better working world

"Building an Emotionally Healthy Workplace"

“R You OK?”  is an awareness and education initiative designed to equip EY people to support colleagues who may be struggling with the impacts of their own or others mental illness or addiction. It is a three-pronged approach focused on 1) education, 2) awareness and 30 direct engagement.  Listen and engage with Lori as she explains the evolution of the initiative and how its continues to evolve.



DC Metro Business Leadership Network

DC Metro BLN 3rd Annual Gala

April Holmes
April Holmes 

April is marketing consultant based in the New York City office tasked with developing, facilitating, and branding the learning experiences and athlete marketing initiatives at EY. Having joined EY in January 2017 after an astonishing career as a track & field athlete, April was honored to wear the USA uniform at every major championship between 2002-2016. She has put together several undefeated seasons, broken IPC World Records fourteen times and American Records eighteen times in the 100, 200, 400 meters and the long jump, won 3 Paralympic medals(1 Gold, 2 Bronze); and 5 World Championship medals. April is also a motivational speaker, best-selling author, host of the “Run Your Life” podcast, and runs the April Holmes Foundation, Inc. to assist individuals with disabilities to receive scholarships and medical equipment. April has a BS in Communications from Norfolk State University; a MBA Marketing from University of Phoenix

Why Attend/Sponsor the Gala

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. to bring our employer members together to focus on the gap between school and work. As a USBLN® Affiliate, we support the Rising Leaders progam. 

Our ME Collaborative (Millennial  & Employer) is an initiative to develop an e-learning pilot series of modules to provide education and resources for youth transitioning from school to work. We are proud to be working with The George Washington University and Gallaudet University in this effort. 

Funds raised at each year's Gala will help to support our collaborative focus group that will develop the micro learning series which will be offered to all area colleges and universities. We plan also to develop an Employer Series to educate the business community on successful employment and retention of Millennials with disabilities. Our long range goal is to share these out across the US and develop a partner series for high school students transitioning form school to work.


October 18, 2017

1775 Tysons Boulevard, Tysons VA 22102

Tickets: $150 


  • Platinum $10,000
  • Diamond $5,000
  • Gold  $2,500
  • Silver $1,000
  • Crystal $500

Sponsors receive Gala tickets and 2018 Program Passes. Contact Katherine McCary to become a Gala Sponsor!


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 1. 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

National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2017

Coming This October.... National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2017 - Inclusion Drives Innovation

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. The official 2017 NDEAM poster will be available soon.

EARN Publishes New Workforce Recruitment Program Success Stories

Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP)

The Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion recently published two new profiles of Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) participants on its Success Stories webpage. The WRP is a free service managed by ODEP and the U.S. Department of Defense that connects employers with highly qualified postsecondary students and recent graduates with disabilities. The profiles highlight how CVS Health and Northrop Grumman Corporation were able to meet their talent needs through two outstanding WRP participants: Afomeya Mekonnen and LeAndre Yarrell, respectively.

View the WRP Success Stories

Accessibility Corner: The 21st Century Communications and Video Accessibility Ac (CVAA)

Accessibility Testing Tools: Useful, When Used Properly

Eduardo Meza-Etienne
Eduardo Meza-Etienne

The Twenty-First Century Communications and Video Accessibility Act (CVAA) was signed into law in 2010. The act was written to ensure that people with disabilities would have equal access to “advanced” communications – namely, digital, broadband and mobile products and services. The CVAA specifies how and where these technologies must be made accessible to people with disabilities such as deafness and blindness.

Under the CVAA, several different types of services and products are considered “advanced” communications. These are grouped under Title I (“Communications Access”) – products and services that connect to the Internet, such as email and text messaging services, web-based services and mobile devices – and Title II (“Video Programming”), products and services involved in the delivery of videos, such as television recording devices, video distributors and online streaming services.

Title I of the CVAA states that laptops, smartphones, tablets, software applications and even gaming consoles that connect to the Internet must be usable by and accessible to people with disabilities. Title II states that video equipment must be capable of displaying closed captioning and video description, and that user controls must be accessible to people with vision and hearing disabilities. It also sets out requirements for closed captioning and audio description of videos.

Why Advanced Communications Need to Be Accessible

Today, it’s an everyday occurrence to watch a movie online, interact with a company’s website, communicate by video, or use a smartphone to check the news.

According to research by the Federal Communications Commission (FCC), people are less likely to go online if they have a disability. That’s partly, says the FCC, because of the barriers these individuals encounter while trying to use the Internet. A study conducted last year by the Pew Research Center1 showed that people with disabilities are about three times more likely than those without disabilities to say they never use the Internet.

When barriers to technology are reduced, or eliminated, however, it means that people with disabilities can engage with products and services like everyone else.

Removing Barriers to Using the Internet

Under Title I of the CVAA, any providers of technology, whether it’s a product or a service, must ensure the technology is accessible if it connects to the Internet – or that third-party assistive technology (AT) is made easily available and supported. This third-party AT can’t be costly for the consumer, however. It’s also prohibited to add features or functions to a product or service that could make it more difficult for people with disabilities to use the technology.

This doesn’t apply only to manufacturers. Any company that provides an app or a service over the Internet is considered a “provider of advanced communications services” and is obligated under the CVAA to ensure that the app or service is barrier-free.

How can the removal of barriers be assured? The FCC recommends that if a company does rely on third-party AT to meet accessibility-related needs, it should ensure that people with disabilities themselves are involved in the consultation. They are in the best position to assess whether the technology is usable and functional.

Removing Barriers in Video

Video is an increasingly popular way to communicate and convey information. It’s a component of virtual business meetings, marketing, education, socializing and entertainment. It’s also used in the distribution of news and public safety information. If videos aren’t accessible, however, then they’re shutting people out.

One frequent barrier emphasized in the CVAA is a lack of closed captioning. Closed captioning is a visual display (e.g. a written transcription) of the dialogue, narration and other relevant sounds, such as a knock at the door, that are essential to understanding the video. Closed captioning is a necessity for many people who are deaf.

Closed captioning, incidentally, has many more applications than increasing accessibility to people with disabilities. It allows patrons in a noisy bar to follow the sports or news. It also enables people in a quiet place, such as a waiting room, to watch TV without disturbing others. In fact, several studies around the world, such as one by the Australian Communications Consumer Action Network2, show that a significant number of people who use captions when viewing digital videos have no hearing disability at all.

Another type of accessibility barrier is a lack of video description for people who are blind. Video description is an audio narration of the visual components of the video. Whenever there are pauses in the video’s dialogue, a voiceover gives descriptions of what is happening visually.

The FCC notes that over 60 million Americans have a significant vision disability or some degree of deafness. For people with disabilities like these, the removal of video barriers is essential to equal participation in society.

Complying with the CVAA

The CVAA lists the ways that videos are to be made accessible on the Internet. For example, any programming that is captioned on television must also be captioned when it’s streamed online. And as of July 1, 2017, any Internet video clips of “live and near-live” television programming – such as sports events and news – must have captioning within a certain time frame.

Although the CVAA does not apply to all online videos at this time, it is expected that this will continue to change as more and more video content is broadcast online only, without going to television first.

Even so, the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) continues to protect disability rights in situations where the CVAA does not yet apply. That’s because the ADA prohibits any kind of discrimination against people with disabilities. Under this law, any product or service offered to the public or in a workplace must be equally available to people who have disabilities. Thus, any company or organization that isn’t ensuring the web-based services it provides, or the videos it streams, are accessible could be breaking the law.

Just last year, the U.S. Department of Justice responded to a complaint by the National Association of the Deaf alleging that the University of Berkeley was in violation of Title II of the ADA3. The Department of Justice proceeded to investigate the university’s online course material, and subsequently instructed the University of Berkeley, in no uncertain terms, to remove barriers from videos and other website components such as inaccessible PDF documents.

It’s Time to Eliminate Barriers

In many ways, human rights legislation is catching up to advancing technology. Companies that move quickly to eliminate barriers from their digital properties will be in an advantageous position – ahead of the curve. Not only will they be in compliance with current and future accessibility laws and rulings, they’ll also benefit from serving a wider variety of people and needs. The number of people with disabilities is growing, not shrinking, as baby boomers age. This target market group isn’t going away anytime soon.

Please contact Eduardo with any questions regarding digital accessibility.

Millennials Corner: Thank you USBLN!

by Christopher Gaines
Team 9 from the Innovation Lab at the USBLN Conference 2017 in Orlando
Team 9 - Innovation Lab 1st place winner (Christopher Gaines standing on your far left)

The 2017 USBLN Conference in Orlando, Florida gave me a very professional and welcoming vibe throughout.  The entire experience was top notch, from the shuttle service back and forth to the airport, to the reception at the Ritz-Carlton by hotel personnel, to our spotless and spacious rooms, and of course, the breathtaking venue for the conference!  The exceptional service and overwhelming amount of planning that must have gone into every detail of the conference did not escape me.  One person in particular who made me feel welcome was Sheila.  She seemed to be wherever I needed to see her.  She was first to greet my roommate and me when we arrived, was there to hand out my badge, and by the way, she always knew my name! 

As for the events themselves, I was afforded a wealth of amazing opportunities by participating in the different panels and networking sessions.  What was truly unexpected is that I had the opportunity to not only meet company executives, but I actually met the foremost industry leaders - chief operating officers, vice-presidents, and directors.  We shook hands and talked not only about my resume, but about much more.  They asked where I was from, and talked about where they lived.  The industry leaders came from all around the country, which opened my eyes to just how far the influence of the USBLN reaches. 

The knowledge that industry leaders really care buoyed my good feelings throughout the USBLN Conference.  In fact, I returned to the Pentagon spreading the word about the USBLN and the Rising Leaders I met along the way.  Awesome people who I continue to connect with via social media and by phone and email.  These Rising Leaders were some of the most talented and intelligent people that I have encountered, and it was irrelevant that we all have disabilities.  The leaders didn't care about our disabilities; they wanted the skills and abilities that we can bring to their industries.  What a simply wonderful concept!

This was my first experience at a large conference, and it was also my first time staying at the Ritz-Carlton.  Without a doubt, the hotel stay was my nicest in recent memory.  The hotel staff treated me with respect and provided any necessary assistance.  In addition, the Marriott and the Ritz were adjacent to one another, which made traveling to and from my room unexpectedly convenient.  All facilities were accessible.  The venue was definitely a wise choice.

I was also a part of the Leader-to-Leader program, and a member of the winning team for the Innovation Lab.  My assigned group was Team 9. I worked long hours with several fellow Rising Leaders, many of whom I now consider friends.  We put together a presentation that really felt like a product that represented all of us.  So, when we won first place, the win felt so much more surreal and well earned.  While stressful, our hard work clearly paid off.  I am more than pleased with the prize: my new Samsung Galaxy S3 tablet!  Since winning first place, I have heard that one company was interested in potentially making our winning app idea a reality.  The possibility of taking this a step further and creating something to make the world a better place excites me!  I hope the concept takes off.

In my opinion, the USBLN leadership team was exceptional.  Jill Houghton, Keri, Lynn, Sheila, and so many others worked hard to make the event a success.  The result of their efforts was palpable.  The event organizers matched me with a Leader-to-Leader contact at Ernst & Young, gave me an adjoining room with my PCA, and set up several interviews with some great companies.  I was fortunate in this respect, because one of the senior vice-presidents at Northrop Grumman Corporation decided to hire me on the spot!  This was my primary goal -- to be hired.  The USBLN leadership team truly came through for me.   Without them, and if I were not selected as a Rising Leader, none of these positive experiences would have been possible.

Finally, I want to take some time to highlight the 2017 Rising Leaders team.  The group was, on the whole, a very diverse, exceptional, and welcoming collection of students from all over the world.  My peers were so nice, so talented, and all had common ground with me by default.  This made social interaction so much easier from the start.  I made many friends who I doubt I would have had the chance to meet and get to know otherwise.  Discrimination was not tolerated, and networking was highly encouraged by USBLN leadership.  Several sessions highlighted the challenges of growing up with and/or living with a disability in today's world.  The issues discussed could not have been more relevant, but, I am happy to say, were largely absent from the pleasant atmosphere of the conference.  This feeling is exactly what I hoped for from a conference where the focus was inclusion and innovation.  One day, I hope the world transforms into a place just as welcoming as the environment of this year's conference!

The Sierra Group's Certified Disability Recruiter Program

The Sierra Group - Disability and Employment Leaders

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.

Classes start in January! 


Certified Disability Recruiter Program (2 years) -$399.00

Certification (10 courses)

Regular 2-year certification - $399.00

Recertification (1 year) - $199.00

Tracking the Common Traits of Inclusive Employers

NOD - Disability Employment Tracker

The National Organization on Disability (NOD) has released aggregated results of its 2017 Disability Employment Tracker, revealing five common attributes shared by companies making the most progress on disability inclusion. The 2017 Tracker measured the practices and outcomes of more than 175 companies that collectively employ more than 2.4 million workers. “The employers who do hire from this pool consistently rank employees with disabilities among their best, most dedicated workers, with some of the lowest rates of turnover,” said NOD President Carol Glazer in an announcement about the results. Read about the 2017 Tracker results.

Recognizing Disability Inclusion in the Supply Chain

Billion Dollar Roundtable - Lead, influence & shape supplier diversity excellence globally

Recently, the Billion Dollar Roundtable—created to recognize corporations that spend at least $1 billion with minority- and women-owned suppliers—expanded the criteria it uses to evaluate supply chain diversity to include Disability-Owned Business Enterprises, Service-Disabled Veteran Disability-Owned Business Enterprises and Veteran-Disability Owned Business Enterprises, as well as LGBT Business Enterprises. “In a country where one in five Americans has a disability, corporations are realizing the importance of disability inclusion across the enterprise,” said Jill Houghton, USBLN President and CEO, in response to the announcement.   Read more about the BDR announcement.

Be a Part of Identifying

What Works in Implementing Section 503

Cornell University Founded A.D. 1865 

Understanding and complying with Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act may prove difficult for many government contractors. In an effort to better understand how employers are implementing these regulations Cornell University's Yang-Tan Institute on Employment and Disability is conducting a survey research project aimed to help in the design of new tools, resources and other assistance to support contractors with their compliance needs.

 The What Works? Implementing Section 503 Survey opens on Thursday, September 7, to learn more about and take the survey, please We hope you will take advantage of this opportunity to contribute to this study and earn, not only the final report, but also access to six free online training courses with HRCI credit eligibility.

2018 Paul G. Herne Leadership Awards 

Deadline to Apply: October 2, 2017 


Through the AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards, AAPD recognizes outstanding emerging leaders with disabilities who exemplify leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the broader cross-disability community. 

Two (2) individuals will each receive $2,500 in recognition of their outstanding contributions and $7,500 to further a new or existing initiative that increases the political and economic power of people with disabilities.

The recipients of the 2018 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Award will honored among national disability leaders at the 
2018 AAPD Leadership Awards Gala
 on March 13, 2018 in Washington, DC.

Applications for the 2018 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards are due by 5pm Eastern Time on October 2, 2017.

Apply for the 2018 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards

Upcoming Events in the Area and Beyond 

Don't miss these two fabulous 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

  • 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.

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!

Webinar presented by TransCen, Inc., the ADA National Network and the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center Brown Bag Lunch _ Learn

Effective Communication:  

The ADA and Law Enforcement

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

12:30 - 1:00 PM EDT


A majority of law enforcement activity involves communicating information, so effective communication is a critical responsibility of law enforcement personnel. When effective communication is denied to people with disabilities, there can be a significant negative impact on the administration of justice. The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) regulations require law enforcement personnel to provide individuals with communication disabilities an equal opportunity to communicate. They are required to take steps to ensure effective communication, including providing appropriate accommodations and "auxiliary aids or services."

This webinar will review: 
  • Importance of effective communication for people with disabilities, specifically those with hearing loss, in law enforcement activities, and consequences of inadequate access and oversight.
  • Overview of auxiliary aids and services to ensure effective communication.
  • Communication strategies and other types of accommodations, such as environmental considerations

Presenter: Michael Richardson directs the Northwest ADA Center and is responsible for coordinating the activities of the Technical Assistance Unit. He provides technical assistance, training, continuing education, and technical consultation services related to the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other federal and state disability laws. Having personal experience with hearing loss and involvement in the Deaf Community, Michael also specializes in providing information on accessibility and effective communication for people who are deaf or hard-of-hearing.

In addition to Real-Time captioning, Real-Time American Sign Language (ASL) video feed will be available through the Blackboard Collaborate Web Conferencing System for this session. 

Webinar: The Many Ways of Wayfinding: 

The Current Best practices for People who are Bind or have Sight Disabilities

September 12, 2017              1:00 – 2:30 pm

Presented by the Northwest ADA Center

In this 90-minute webinar, Peggy Martinez of Creative Inclusions, LLC will discuss various wayfinding topics.

Learning Objectives

Overview of the varied conditions of blindness and low vision.

Learn about the tools and techniques people who are blind and sight-impaired use in indoor and outdoor wayfinding.

Learn about distinctive walking surfaces, edges, and borders; color and contrast; and braille and  tactile maps.

Registration fee: $45 per site. 

For more information and to register

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center

Mid-Atlantic ADA Update

Sheraton Tysons Hotel
8661 Leesburg Pike
Tysons, Virginia 22182

September 13, 2017 -September 15, 2017 

Registration $425  

Registration closes WEDNESDAY SEPT 6!

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 Dates!!

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. 

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. Details
Academy of US Veterans

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.
  • 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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