FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:
NATIONAL ORGANIZATION ON DISABILITY AND ITS CORPORATE PARTNERS SEND A STRONG MESSAGE OF HOPE TO DISABILITY COMMUNITY AT ANNUAL FORUM: NOD AT 40: HONORING THE PAST; INNOVATING THE FUTURE
NOD Celebrates 40 Years of Disability Inclusion Progress in the Workplace and Honors Long-time NOD Chairman Governor Tom Ridge and President Carol Glazer
NEW YORK, NY (October 3, 2022) – The National Organization on Disability, along with its title sponsors The Hershey Company and Prudential, disability rights advocates, civic leaders and corporate global partners and sponsors convened at 101 Constitution Ave. in DC for NOD’s annual Forum: NOD at 40: Honoring the Past; Innovating the Future on September 29, 2022. More than 300 attendees celebrated 40 years of NOD and the accomplishments of the disability rights movement and specifically the advancement of disability employment rights in this country; explored the future being built by ADA Generation innovators; and honored the man who has served as NOD’s Chairman for the last 16 years, the nation’s first Secretary of Homeland Security, Governor Tom Ridge, as well as Carol Glazer who has served as NOD’s president for the last 13 years.
A sense of hope permeated throughout the day as attendees witnessed messages from Hershey CEO Michele Buck, Christopher J. Nassetta, CEO and President of Hilton Worldwide, Dr. Forber-Pratt, Director of the National Institute on Disability, Independent Living and Rehabilitation Research (NIDILRR) in the Administration for Community Living, disability activist, and a two-time Paralympian and Marc H. Morial, President and CEO of the National Urban League, as well as energizing and innovative roundtable discussions led by industry leaders including Disability Rights Leader Judy Heumann, Day-Al Mohamed, Disability Policy Director, White House Domestic Policy Council and Xian Horn, Founder of Give Beauty Wings and Changeblazer, ForbesWomen Contributor.
“Hope is a simple idea, but is truly the steppingstone to resilience,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “When NOD began, we were filled to the brim with hope that we could make the world a better place for people with disabilities. For the last 40 years we have focused on being a catalyst for driving a positive perception and shattering misconceptions about people with disabilities in the workplace, marketplace, and communities across the United States. Today was an amazing day as colleagues and friends reflected on the past, but it was also a time to dive into the challenges that the disability community still faces in the years to come. Together I believe we can continue this journey of progress with perseverance, innovation, and hope.”
The celebration continued into the evening on the Roof Terrace with a beautiful tribute to Governor Tom Ridge for his 16 years of service as NOD Chairman, given by Michael Smerconish, the Forum’s emcee, and SiriusXM/CNN Host. In addition, fifty-two organizations were honored as the 2022 NOD Leading Disability Employers. Now in its eighth year, the NOD Leading Disability Employer Seal recognizes companies for measuring and achieving strong talent outcomes for people with disabilities. With this recognition, NOD shines a light on those employers that are committed to building an inclusive and diverse workforce by adopting exemplary employment practices for people with disabilities.
“I am partially paralyzed and a member of the disability community. Here it is simply: We have a right to go to work,” said incoming NOD Chairman Luke Visconti. “People with disabilities have the lowest labor participation rate of any group because most companies won’t hire us. I am proud of NOD for capturing data on corporate best practices and helping progressive companies, like the ones who sponsored this event and others who attended, to manage their human capital at peak performance. I am thankful to take the chair from Governor Tom Ridge who led this organization and board to its current wonderful shape.”
About National Organization on Disability (NOD)
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) is a private, non-profit organization that seeks to increase employment opportunities for the 60-percent of working age Americans with disabilities who are not employed. To achieve this goal, NOD offers a suite of employment solutions, tailored to anticipate and meet leading companies’ workforce needs. NOD has helped some of the world’s most recognized brands be more competitive in today’s global economy by building or enriching their disability inclusion programs. For more information about NOD and how its portfolio of professional services, Leadership Council and Employment Tracker™ can help your business, visit www.NOD.org.