THE NOD CORPORATE LEADERSHIP COUNCIL CONVENES TO TALK ABOUT TRUST AT THE EXECUTIVE LUNCHEON

Douglas Conant gesturing on stage, during panel discussion.
Douglas Conant gesturing on stage, during panel discussion, along with Edelman’s Tonia Ries, Eli Lilly’s Dr. Andrea Sassman-Koleric and moderator Karen Brown.

Trust is the Essential Ingredient for Disability Inclusion in Today’s Globally Complex Business Environment

NEW YORK (June 13, 2019) –  The National Organization on Disability today hosted an executive luncheon for its Corporate Leadership Council (CLC) members at the Ford Foundation Center for Social Justice. The event, which drew nearly 100 professionals, centered on the topic of trust as integral to building an inclusive, engaged workforce, with a particular focus on self-identification (self-ID) rates – or the percentage of employees who voluntarily inform their employers that they have a disability – as a core measure of organizational trust.

Dr. Andrea Sassman-Koleric of Eli Lilly and Company shares her story of working with invisible disabilities
Dr. Andrea Sassman-Koleric of Eli Lilly and Company shares her story of working with invisible disabilities

During the event, CLC members explored emergent research and case studies from an impressive line-up of leaders who have successfully built trust with their employees, including Douglas R. Conant, Founder + CEO, ConantLeadership and the former CEO of The Campbell Soup Company; Tonia Ries, Executive Director, Edelman Intellectual Property + Edelman Trust Barometer; Adela Ruiz, Program Assistant, Office of the President, Ford Foundation; and Dr. Andrea Sassman-Kolesaric, Clinical Trial Management Consultant and Inspection Readiness Lead, Eli Lilly and Company.

Adela Ruiz from the Ford Foundation welcomes the audience and shares their progress toward total disability inclusion
Adela Ruiz from the Ford Foundation welcomes the audience and shares their progress toward total disability inclusion

“To disclose one’s disability is to take a risk. To be vulnerable. To be subject to judgment. In some cases, to be overlooked in an organization. But having trust between an employee and employer can change all of that. Trust empowers employees to ask for support, and enables leaders and colleagues to offer it,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “I would like to extend a special ‘Thank You’ to the Ford Foundation for hosting our powerful discussion today. Not only is the building a beautiful space, but the work and time they took to make it fully meet and exceed every standard for accessibility is a testament to their commitment to diversity and inclusion.”

Tonia Ries of Edelman shared findings from their Trust Barometer
Tonia Ries of Edelman shared findings from their Trust Barometer

According to Keynote Speaker Doug Conant who was honored with the Top Thought Leader in Trust Lifetime Achievement Award by Trust Across America, “There is a reason that in the model I use to teach leadership, there are seven core practice areas, and trust is the only one connected to each of the others. Trust is foundational to leadership; they are inextricably linked.”

Carol Glazer, NOD President, shares data from NOD's Disabilty Employment Tracker on disability self-ID campaigns
Carol Glazer, NOD President, shares data from NOD’s Disability Employment Tracker on disability self-ID campaigns

Glazer added, “The Corporate Leadership Council is the heart of NOD.  Our corporate partners distinguish themselves every day as leaders in diversity and inclusion and employers of choice for people with disabilities, and we are proud to be their trusted ally.”

Don’t miss the next NOD Corporate Leadership Council event: September 26, 2019 | Shifting the Talent Paradigm: Inclusive Culture for a Modern Workforce NOD Annual Forum + Leading Disability Employers’ Dinner at the Crystal City Marriott at Reagan National Airport, Arlington, VA

 

NOD and DiversityInc Recognize Mental Health Awareness Month

Green ribbon with text reading "Mental Health Awareness Month"

By Jayme S. Ganey, Senior Writer, DiversityInc, and Carol Glazer, President of National Organization on Disability

The United States is One of the Most Stressed Countries in the World: Do you know if your colleague’s mental health is okay?

A recent Gallop poll reported that the US is one of the most stressed nations in the world. More than half of Americans (55%) reported feeling stress during a lot of the day, 45% said they worried a lot, and 22% said they “felt anger a lot,” Gallup reports.

Some might say, “Why care?” But you only need to look at productivity at work, sick time, disengagement, and the myriad companies under fire for mistreatment or lack of protection of workers to understand why this is important.

While many workers are merely debilitated by the stress in the workplace, others are actually experiencing mental health conditions like depression, anxiety, bipolar disorder or post-traumatic stress. Since May is Mental Health Awareness Month, we’re shining a light on one of the most prevalent, but still taboo health conditions in the country.

Employees Hold Back, And It’s Costly

The reality is one in five people has a mental health condition., making them the single greatest cause of worker disability – and lost productivity – in the U.S., with costs exceeding $193 billion, according to NAMI[JA1].

NAMI research shows 62% of missed work days can be attributed to a mental health condition. The same study shows that in the case of depression, the disorder is linked to an average absenteeism rate of 2.5 days per month, resulting in average costs of $3,540-$4,600 per year, per employee.

“Mental illness will account for more than half of the economic burden of all chronic diseases, more than cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases combined, according to another NAMI study. We’re talking about trillions of dollars, mostly in the form of lost productivity and unplanned absences.

According to a report that the National Organization on Disability advised on for the WMI, employees with invisible disabilities (many of them mental health conditions ) are less engaged than their counterparts with visible disabilities, likely because the latter workers access the accommodations they need at higher rates. Given the stigma associated with mental illness, it’s natural that workers will hold back on disclosing, and getting the accommodations they need.

And without the right supports, there can be dire consequences for employees—including increasing symptoms, loss of a job, loss of home, incarceration, self or other harm and even suicide. These issues certainly (and profoundly) affect families and communities; but they also significantly impact workplaces, because the majority of Americans spend one-third of their adult life at work.

Who Could Be In Need?

While celebrities like Taraji P. Henson, Dwayne the Rock Johnson, and others have gone public and encouraged people to get the help that they need, what about the everyday person? If you are sitting in a room with four other people at your office, one of you on average is dealing with a mental health condition. “

Mental illness manifests itself in as many ways as the human psyche is complex. It affects housewives, corporate executives, world-class athletes, and caregivers without discrimination. As we’ve reported previously If you’re a caregiver of a child with chronic medical issues, your risk increases by orders of magnitude. roughly 27% of U.S. children1 live with chronic health conditions; and nearly half of their mothers have symptoms of anxiety, depression, PTSD, or all three.

(1 One of this article’s co-authors, Carol Glazer, has told her story of caregiving for a son with chronic medical problems; and how that contributed to her diagnosis of Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. “I became a different person. More cautious, more prone to worry. At times impatient. Or angry with the wrong people. Fear is a constant din in the background… Clearly and unmistakably, through my son’s many life and death surgeries, related complications and repeated hospitalizations, I’d experienced trauma.”

I would come home exhausted from work only to have to then check in with the caretaker, doctor, and therapists. And I acknowledge that as a middle class working professional, I had supports that others do not.

The S Word

It’s clear that mental health struggles are not selective in who they impact. Moreover, more than half of the people diagnosed with mental health conditions will seek treatment, even though the monetary costs of treatment are negligible.

The reason people don’t seek this treatment has to do with the stigma of mental illness, which is alive and well in our society and workplaces. Stigma is not exclusive to individuals who don’t understand mental illness. It’s practiced by parents and family members, teachers, the media, health insurers, and even healthcare providers and policymakers.

When you add it all up, in the coming decades, mental illness will account for more than half of the economic burden of all chronic diseases, more than cancer, diabetes, and chronic respiratory diseases combined….

We’re talking about trillions of dollars, mostly in the form of lost productivity and unplanned absences.

And with 10X as many people with mental illness in prisons as in psychiatric facilities, this is a public health crisis of tsunami proportions.

While mental health is becoming a more prevalent conversation in the media than ever before, the unsensational stories that fuel the staggering statistics are still not helping the conversation become normal in everyday life without stigma.

Particularly in the workplace, where stigma is a known barrier, people often don’t ask for and receive help because they don’t feel they have permission or safety to speak up. And coworkers are similarly afraid of the unknown. So while an employee would no more watch a colleague trip and fall without asking whether they are OK, they should not be afraid to ask a co-worker whom they suspect is depressed or over anxious or overstressed, if they are OK.

Millennials are more apt to talk about it as they grew up with conversations about it, but navigating the discussion across generations and at work is still a challenge. Generational ideas, cultural ideas, as well as one’s own self-awareness can impede sharing.

So How Do You Start the Conversation?

We would call on people to practice empathy—putting yourself in others positions and think about how you’d want to be treated if that were your situation.

Felicia Nursmen, managing director of employer services at the National Organization on Disability, said “Recognize your own bias. Focus on people. And increase your exposure to bias,” she said. “What’s most important is that we ask the right questions and that we’re having the right conversations.”

And while employers generally cannot ask someone if they have a disability or the severity of one, you can ask if they whether they need an accommodation to get their jobs done.

NOD’s Corporate Leadership Council has companies who are working to create spaces so that employees are less reluctant to share their stories, thus allowing their managers to create more inclusive workspaces, and benefit from their diverse talents and perspectives. They produced guidelines: 6 Key Tips to Address Mental Health in your Workplace, from the NOD Corporate Leadership Council.

And there are companies leading the pack that you can learn from, including health care company and DiversityInc Hall of Famer Kaiser Permanente, whose “total health” perspective is a model for other companies.

EY, another DiversityInc Hall of Famer, birthed “R u ok?”, an ERG movement out of a Mental Health Summit they attended in 2015. It works through trainings and conversations to open conversations about mental health among employees.

Lori Golden, EY America’s Talent Team abilities strategy leader, discusses the initial outcome of EY’s ability to talk about mental health openly and frankly: r u ok? is “caring about people as well as achieving business goals.” Most rewarding for Golden is that so many people are saying they are grateful that “my organization has the courage to do this.”

There is a protocol covering how to go about asking “R u ok?”: (1) Notice signs of change in the individual who needs help. (2) Ask “r u ok?“ to start the conversation, and see whether this opens up the topic for further discussion. (3) Listen for key information that helps you gain perspective about the situation; this includes what is not said. Finally, (4) act to remedy matters by involving EY Assist or firm leadership to foster a conversation in a responsible way and get the individual/team the help they need. The role of anyone who leads the conversation is not to diagnose but rather to express care and concern when someone has shown a pattern of change in behavior.

So how will you start the conversation this month?

 

Originally published on DiversityInc.com

New Employer Survey Reveals Corporate America Still Struggling to Hire People with Disabilities

Despite Huge Demand for Talent and 20 Million Americans with Disabilities Eager to Work, Job Connections Still Falling Short


NEW YORK (May 29, 2019)
– Despite record low unemployment and reports by hiring managers of an enormous demand for talent, a new survey of nearly 200 companies that collectively employ more than 9.5 million people reveals that U.S. employers are still not hiring larger numbers of people with disabilities to meet their talent needs. The findings come from the 2019 Disability Employment Tracker, an annual assessment provided by the National Organization on Disability (NOD), which has researched such issues since 1982 and advises large employers on how to create more inclusive workplaces for people with disabilities. Among the 199 companies surveyed, 40% are Fortune 500 companies with 61% having more than 10,000 employees.

“In a labor market where there is an enormous demand for talent – a demand that is only going to increase – we had expected to see the needle move more than it has,” said NOD President Carol Glazer. “While we are seeing more employers embracing the notion that they can’t afford to miss out on quality talent, including people with disabilities, these ideas are not translating into hiring numbers. Many employers either have not made it a priority or simply have not been able to figure it out.”

•	4.0% - Average percentage of employees identifying as having a disability •	13% - Companies that have reached the Dept. of Labor target of 7% disability representation

Just over 1 in 10 companies surveyed (13%) have reached the target set by the U.S. Department of Labor for federal contractors that 7% of their workforce be represented by people with disabilities.

Other key Tracker findings include:

  • While 98% of companies report that overall diversity is promoted publicly by a senior leader, that number falls precipitously to 76% for disability
  • 89% of companies maintain employee resource groups focused on diversity, while only 64% have similar ERGs for disability
  • When it comes to hiring, barely half (51%) focus on campus recruiting for students with disabilities and only 42% create internships for that same population

“The Tracker very clearly shows that the various approaches to hiring people with disabilities all fall to the bottom of the list, despite how frequently companies tell us that hiring is their biggest goal,” said Felicia Nurmsen, NOD’s Managing Director of Employer Services. “This may be because some companies don’t know how to approach targeted hiring, while others feel like they might not be ‘inclusive enough’ yet to start. We try to explain that there are organizations like ours that are eager to help them get started.”

Nurmsen added that NOD’s work in Boston, where NOD has been implementing a pilot program called Campus to Careers, finds that once employers actively engage on a campus and open a dialogue with disability services, those barriers are quickly broken down, leading to employment.

“The good news is that we are seeing some positive gains in other key areas,” said Nurmsen. “One such change is there is a broader awareness of disability inclusion, and meaningful increases in training. In 2018, for example, just 13% of HR generalists report having been trained in disability employment. That’s up significantly in 2019 to 69%. So we have a workforce that is more capable of bringing people into the fold once hired. That tells us that if we can get employers to improve their recruitment efforts, those new employees will be able to make a smoother transition.”

Learn more about the Disability Employment Tracker and download an infographic detailing its key findings.

NOD Statement on ‘Game of Thrones’ Ending Featured by TMZ

NOD issued a statement to popular culture outlet TMZ this week on the ending of hit HBO show Game of Thrones, and the drama’s depiction of disability following a flurry of social media activity on the subject. Felicia Nurmsen, our Managing Director of Employer Services, gave the following statement (WARNING: SPOILERS):

The National Organization on Disability has been thrilled to see disability featured in the hit HBO show Game of Thrones as an ongoing story thread. The series, though set in a long-ago realm of fantasy, has for eight years served as a mirror for society on many subjects, including disability. For most of their respective journeys, Tyrion Lannister and Bran Stark (the show’s most prominent characters with disabilities) are treated at best with pity, and at worst with revulsion and antipathy. Despite disdain and dismissal, each demonstrates grit, creativity, fortitude, wisdom, and courage in not only surviving the long winter, but also in rising to significant positions of leadership; an excellent parallel to the experience of people with disabilities in the workforce. In the moment that ‘Bran the Broken’ is named King of the Six Kingdoms, choosing Tyrion as his chief adviser, Game of Thrones (perhaps accidentally) adroitly captured the irony of disability in America: No matter how much we achieve, the overall impression of our community is fundamentally still one of brokenness. NOD has been working to change that narrative, and generational, landmark media properties like Game of Thrones help drive these conversations further—whether viewers liked the ending or not.

Click here to see the article on TMZ.

NOD’s Felicia Nurmsen Takes to the Airwaves to Discuss Increasing Disability Inclusion in the Workforce

Felicia speaking on an NOD Panel, while gesturing
Felicia speaking on a panel at the 2018 NOD Annual Forum, while seated speakers look on.

 

 

Managing Director of Employer Services Felicia Nurmsen visited Philadelphia Focus radio host Lora Lewis for an in-depth interview on disability inclusion and discussed how NOD works with employers and schools to grow job opportunities for people with disabilities.

Said Nurmsen: “People with disabilities want to go to work…. They would like to be productive and can be productive—very productive. Studies show that people with disabilities can be as or more productive than their non-disabled peers and actually have higher retention rates.”

Listen on WJBR: Focus on the Delaware Valley

Looking Back at NOD’s Networking Roundtable | “Driving Innovation through ERGs”

RECAPPING: DRIVING INNOVATION THROUGH EMPLOYEE RESOURCE GROUPS
April 4th, 2019 | Hosted by L’Oréal USA

Today, 90 percent of the country’s Fortune 500 companies have ERGs. Many of these groups were founded as a response to discrimination, but in recent years, these groups have been increasingly recognized for their valuable contributions they bring to their employers, especially with regards to diversifying talent streams.

The NOD Corporate Leadership Council‘s Networking Roundtable, Driving Innovation through Employee Resource Groups, provided an in-depth look at businesses excelling at building disability inclusive cultures through their Employee Resource/Affinity Groups (ERGs/AGs).

  • The event, moderated by Karen Brown, featured opening remarks from NOD’s Carol Glazer, while L’Oréal USA’s Frédéric Rozé discussed his company’s commitment to workplace disability inclusion.
  • DiversityInc’s Shane Nelson dove into case studies from companies activating their ERGs to target new business opportunities.
  • Panelists, Cassie Liverance of L’Oréal, Laura Bailey from Capital One, John Sasso of EY, and Stephanie Magner-Tripp from New York Life, gave real life examples of how their companies’ ERGs are changing attitudes and actions from the inside.
  • Closing remarks were shared by L’Oréal USA’s Angela Guy and NOD’s Carol Glazer.

 

Welcome remarks by NOD President Carol Glazer

Welcome remarks by L’Oréal USA President & CEO Frédéric Rozé

CLC Members: See full video coverage of the event by logging in to our Members’ Only Portal and visiting the Resources page | Not a member? Find out about the many benefits of joining today!  

 

 

Tom Ridge: Trump Cuts to Disability Programs ‘Unjust,’ ‘Foolish’ Read Newsmax: Tom Ridge: Tens of Millions of Dollars in Trump Cuts to Disability Programs

By Solange Reyner | Wednesday, 17 April 2019 08:08 PM

Close up shot o Gov. Tom Ridge
Photo by Alex Wong/Getty Images

Former GOP Pennsylvania Gov. Tom Ridge called President Donald Trump’s proposed cuts to a number of disability programs supporting people with disabilities “not only unjust but also fiscally foolish.”

Ridge, who currently serves as the chairman of the National Organization on Disability, said in an op-ed for The New York Times that Trump’s proposed 2020 budget would cut tens of millions of dollars in programs for people with disabilities.

“Of particular urgency to me and many of my colleagues are the devastating impacts that the weakening of these agencies would have on job seekers with disabilities,” Ridge wrote.

“Independent living centers, assistive-technology programs, supports for individuals living with brain injuries and family caregiver support services are among those programs and services on the chopping block. So, too, is the Office of Disability Employment Policy,” he added.

Trump’s proposal includes cuts to domestic spending and an increase in money for a wall along the U.S. border with Mexico.

A Labor Department office that promotes the hiring of people with disabilities is also proposed for cutbacks.

“Combined, these cuts total in the tens of millions of dollars,” Ridge wrote. “Cutting funding to these critical programs — that turn tax consumers into taxpayers — is not only unjust but also fiscally foolish.”

Read on Newsmax

Tom Ridge, Former GOP Governor of Pennsylvania, Takes Aim at Trump Cuts to Disabilities Programs

Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge
Former Pennsylvania governor Tom Ridge appears in Harrisburg, Pa., in January 2015 (Matt Rourke/Associated Press)

April 17, 2019 | By John Wagner

Tom Ridge, the former Republican governor of Pennsylvania and the nation’s first homeland security secretary, criticized the Trump administration on Wednesday for proposed budget cuts to an array of programs supporting people with disabilities.

Ridge, who now serves as chairman of the National Organization on Disability, called the proposed cuts “not only unjust but also fiscally foolish” in an op-ed published by the New York Times.

His criticism comes in the wake of a high-profile reversal by President Trump last month of an administration proposal to cut federal funding for the Special Olympics. Trump said he was overruling Education Department officials in the face of bipartisan backlash.

“That reversal was welcome,” Ridge wrote. “But it was also incomplete. Most Americans do not know that the 2020 budget is still full of cuts that aim directly at many other programs that support people with disabilities.”

Among the programs that Ridge identifies as being “on the chopping block” are independent living centers, assistive-technology programs, supports for individuals living with brain injuries and family caregiver support services. A Labor Department office that promotes the hiring of people with disabilities is also proposed for cutbacks.

“Combined, these cuts total in the tens of millions of dollars,” Ridge wrote. “Cutting funding to these critical programs — that turn tax consumers into taxpayers — is not only unjust but also fiscally foolish.”

In its budget proposal, the Trump administration maintained that it is committed to federal disability programs, including those that promote greater labor force participation, but is also seeking to “reduce unnecessary administrative burdens.”

The nonprofit organization that Ridge leads says its mission is to promote the “full participation and contributions” of the roughly 56 million Americans with disabilities.

Read on The Washington Post

Trump’s Budget is Full of Cuts Aimed at People with Disabilities

Funding for the Special Olympics may have been restored, but many more important programs are still on the chopping block.

April 17, 2019 | The New York Times Op-Ed By Tom Ridge
Mr. Ridge is the chairman of the National Organization on Disability.

Gov. Ridge gesturing while speaking at a podium

Last month’s proposal from Secretary of Education Betsy DeVos to cut millions of dollars in funding for Special Olympics caused a public uproar and a bipartisan backlash fierce enough to force President Trump to restore it days later. That reversal was welcome. But it was also incomplete. Most Americans do not know that the 2020 budget is still full of cuts that aim directly at many other programs that support people with disabilities.

The Trump administration’s fiscal year 2020 budget would make cuts across multiple agencies and offices that serve Americans with disabilities, stripping them of essential resources. Of particular urgency to me and many of my colleagues are the devastating impacts that the weakening of these agencies would have on job seekers with disabilities.

Independent living centers, assistive-technology programs, supports for individuals living with brain injuries and family caregiver support services are among those programs and services on the chopping block. So too is the Office of Disability Employment Policy. This office, within the Labor Department, is the only nonregulatory federal agency that promotes policies and coordinates with employers and all levels of government to increase workplace success for people with disabilities. It also holds federal contractors to account for meeting certain hiring goals.

Combined, these cuts total in the tens of millions of dollars. Cutting funding to these critical programs — that turn tax consumers into taxpayers — is not only unjust but also fiscally foolish.

That’s especially true now, at a time when our nation is seeing historically low unemployment rates and employers need to find new sources for talent.

Work is one of the most important issues affecting the some 50 million Americans with disabilities. The Bureau of Labor Statistics reported in 2018 that roughly 30 percent of Americans ages 16 to 64 with a disability were employed, compared with nearly 75 percent of those without a disability. The unemployment rate for job seekers with disabilities is roughly 9 percent — more than double that of the nondisabled population.

Employment for Americans with disabilities remains one of the great unfulfilled promises of the 1990 Americans With Disabilities Act. The law has improved lives in many significant ways. And while some employers have taken important steps in inclusion and hiring, most are not fully tapping that rich talent pool of 20 million people with disabilities who are ready to work.

Just recently, the National Organization on Disability, which I have been privileged to lead for 13 years, joined with 12 of the largest, most politically influential disability organizations from across the country to work on behalf of policies that support disability employment.

It’s something that really ought to have happened much sooner. But each of our organizations — the National Down Syndrome Society, the American Association of People With Disabilities, the National Federation of the Blind and many others — has been focused on its own priorities. But when we sat around a table together we realized that the issue of employment connects us all. It remains one of the most vexing challenges facing the disability community today.

Fortunately, these groups have been able to put aside our disparate agendas and find common cause. We recognized that collectively, we represent a powerful political constituency of scores of millions of people.

When this coalition of disability organizations recently met with the labor secretary, he notably didn’t ask about political affiliations. He understood, as we do, that our issue cuts across party lines. The most important social and economic issues all do.

That’s why the funding must be restored by the administration. And I hope to see bipartisan support from Congress. Budget decisions that harm people with disabilities and their families will hurt our economy and weaken us all. Any business that hasn’t figured out how to benefit from the problem-solving abilities and the tenacity of people who spend their lives navigating a world that wasn’t built for them isn’t trying hard enough. We can help them.

I agree with Senators Bob Casey and Sherrod Brown, who recently wrote to the director of the Office of Management and Budget and said that any budget proposal by any administration should reflect the goals of the A.D.A.: equal opportunity, independent living, full participation and economic self-sufficiency. The exclusion of any group of people from our economy is not only a problem for those who’ve been excluded. It’s a scourge on our democracy that touches us all.

I urge the Trump administration to immediately restore this essential funding.

Tom Ridge, a former governor of Pennsylvania and the first secretary of homeland security, is the chairman of the National Organization on Disability. 

Read on The New York Times

Roundtable Coalition Convenes to Advance Critical Issue of Employment for People with Disabilities

WASHINGTON, D.C. (APRIL 11, 2019) – Yesterday, the National Organization on Disability (NOD) convened twelve of the leading disability organizations from across the country to focus attention on the critical issue of employment for people with disabilities. Last year, the Roundtable coalition collectively identified two policy priorities to work on together: (1) phasing out 14(c) certificates, which allow employers to pay workers with disabilities sub-minimum wage; and (2) enforcing the 503-rule change for federal contractors, which sets a 7% target for disability workforce representation.

NOD Chairman, Gov. Tom Ridge, leads discussion with representatives from disability organizations
NOD Chairman, Gov. Tom Ridge, leads discussion with representatives from disability organizations

The Disability Roundtable participants have continued to meet to pursue legislative and administrative efforts to address these issues vital to ensuring meaningful employment for the 57 million Americans with disabilities. In this week’s meeting, the Roundtable participants backed the Transformation to Competitive Employment Act, sponsored by Senators Bob Casey and Chris Van Hollen and Representatives Bobby Scott and Cathy McMorris Rogers, to phase out 14(c) and provide supports for an effective transition to competitive, integrated employment. They also highlighted the work of the Office of Federal Contract Compliance Programs’ focused review of Section 503.

Roundtable participants gathered at a conference table
Roundtable participants gathered at a conference table

The Disability Roundtable plans to meet on at least three more occasions in 2019 to continue their collective efforts.

The Disability Roundtable coalition includes:

  • American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
  • Association of University Centers on Disabilities (AUCD)
  • The Autistic Self Advocacy Network (ASAN)
  • Autism Speaks
  • Bazelon Center for Mental Health Law
  • Disability:IN
  • DiversityInc
  • Judy Heumann
  • National Association of the Deaf (NAD)
  • National Center for Learning Disabilities
  • National Council on Disability (NCD)
  • National Council on Independent Living (NCIL)
  • National Down Syndrome Society (NDSS)
  • National Federation of the Blind (NFB)
  • National Organization on Disability (NOD)
  • Ridge Policy Group