News From Our Partners

Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship

The Partnership on Inclusive Apprenticeship (PIA), a new initiative funded by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy, launched in April. PIA is committed to creating diverse and inclusive apprenticeship programs that are accessible to people with disabilities. PIA works with employers and apprenticeship intermediaries to drive efforts to enable job seekers with disabilities to attain credentials, hone talents, and gain skills to succeed in high growth, high demand industries through inclusive apprenticeships. The Initiative recently released a new resource and episodes of their new Apprenticeship for All Podcast.

New PIA Resource: Designing Inclusive Apprenticeships: A Guide for Recruiting & Training Apprentices with Disabilities offers tips and resources for how to launch and sustain an inclusive apprenticeship program.

New Episodes of PIA’s Apprenticeship for All Podcast:

Learn more about PIA and its efforts to create, sustain, and innovate inclusive apprenticeship programs. Follow PIA on LinkedIn and Twitter.


The 36th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference

For the first time, the 36th Annual CSUN Assistive Technology Conference was held virtually March 6 through March 14, 2021. The 2021 Conference saw approximately 4,000 attendees from all around the world come together online to share knowledge, new innovations and best practices focused on assistive technology and inclusiveness for all persons with disabilities. There were over 200 on-demand educational sessions, as well as a live-streamed Keynote Address and 3 Featured Presentations. Select sessions Tuesday through Friday included live Q&A with the presenters and attendees interacted live with Exhibitors in the virtual Exhibit Hall.

After three days of Pre-Conference Workshops, the conference officially opened Tuesday morning with the Keynote Address by the Honorable Anthony “Tony” Coelho. Mr. Coelho is a former six-term United States Congressman from California and primary author and sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) – the most important piece of civil rights legislation in the last 30 years. He has spent his entire adult life helping advance the lives of people with disabilities and advocating for their civil rights.

The next three days opened with live Featured Presentations from the U.S. Access Board, the Global Alliance for Disaster Resource Acceleration (GADRA) and the U.S. Intelligence Community. The Keynote Address and Featured Presentations were available to the public and can still be viewed on the CSUN Center on Disabilities’ YouTube page.

Following the Keynote, participants were able to access presentations on-demand covering a multitude of topics including employment, independent living, law & policy and more. Continuing in our conference tradition, all accepted submissions to the Journal Track will be published in the Journal on Technology & Persons with Disabilities in late spring. A preview draft of the complete 9th volume is available at https://csun.at/draftvol9.

The virtual event gave attendees more time and opportunity to attend presentations as the content was available after the conference had concluded.

The virtual Exhibit Hall provided attendees an opportunity to experience the latest assistive technology provided by our exhibitors. The free Expo Visitor Passes allowed the general public, in addition to conference attendees, to visit the exhibit booths first-hand, providing access to information, resources and live meeting rooms.

The 2022 Conference plans to return to the Anaheim Marriott, March 12 through March 18, 2022. The Call for Presentations for the Journal Track is August 19 through September 7, 2021 and the General Track is September 9 through 28, 2021. For more information about the conference and exhibiting, visit https://csun.at/conference.


M-Enabling Summit Announces 2021 Year-Long Conference Schedule and Digital Series

The organizers of the M-Enabling Summit, G3ict and E.J. Krause & Associates, are pleased to announce three events for the 2021 conference schedule. After the successful launch of the M-Enabling Virtual Leadership Briefing, the organizers will continue to expand the brand’s portfolio of digital offerings with two additional Virtual Leadership Briefings. These briefings will take place April 21, and June 22, 2021, followed by the M-Enabling Summit Conference and Showcase on October 4-6, 2021.

The 2nd edition of the M-Enabling Virtual Leadership Briefing will run under the theme “The Acceleration of Innovation in Inclusive Virtual Workplaces for Persons with Disabilities.” The past year has amplified the importance of prioritizing digital accessibility, especially through remote work and virtual learning. The 3rd briefing will cover “Universities at the Forefront of Digital Inclusion.” The Virtual Leadership Briefings will be fast-paced, two-hour webinar programs featuring dynamic interviews with thought leaders, engaging discussions, live polls and moderated questions from the audience.

The M-Enabling Summit Conference and Showcase, dedicated to promoting innovation in accessible and assistive technology for senior citizens and users of all abilities, will host its signature industry networking event October 4-6, 2021 in Washington, DC. The M-Enabling Summit is fully committed to providing a safe and powerful platform in-person this fall with virtual participation options for those still unable to travel or participate in public events by October. Industry leaders, influencers and advocates will be addressing the current issues and strategies surrounding digital accessibility in light of the significant evolutions that occurred since the 2019 M-Enabling Summit.

With participants’ health security as the top priority, conference logistics will reflect official health guidelines and best practices for conferences and public events and their updated details will be published on the M-Enabling Summit website.

With the theme of “Digital Accessibility, a Driver for Inclusion Strategies,” key topics that will be explored at this year’s hybrid M-Enabling Summit include:

• The acceleration of the adoption of virtual environments during COVID-19: What’s durable evolution, what’s not, perspective from Industry and Persons with Disabilities. • Spotlight on most impactful newest accessibility features and their benefits for users. • Multi-modal gaming and virtual entertainment experiences for accessibility. • Balancing privacy and security with accessibility and assistive services requirements: The need for users’ choice options. • The era of voice as a new platform for digital interaction: Challenges and opportunities. • The emergence of neurotechnologies for advanced assistive solutions: Risks and opportunities. • State of Accessibility among business, government, and academia. • The emergence of Strategic Leaders in Accessibility (SLiA) among large organizations • Workplace accommodations success stories in a virtual environment • The best of education accommodations strategies in a virtual environment • The rise of the accessibility profession: Global footprint, professional development resources and benefits for organizations

The Virtual Leadership Briefing series allows M-Enabling to use its digital platform to expand its global outreach to advocate for all users. We believe that in-person B2B conferences are critical to developing impactful business opportunities as well as being a vital way to connect communities and foster innovation. By hosting both digital and in-person offerings, we can convey the need for digital inclusion across multiple points of contact resulting in maximizing our inclusive reach and attendee engagement,” said Kara Krause, SVP of Event Marketing at E.J. Krause & Associates.

“It is with great anticipation that we look forward to sharing the progress of digital inclusion on multiple fronts with the M-Enabling program this year. Our community of accessibility advocates, experts, innovators and providers of accessible products, contents and services has never been as energized as it is the case right now with so many new accessibility solutions expanding possibilities,” pointed out Axel Leblois, President of G3ict.

Francesca Cesa Bianchi, G3ict’s Vice President for Institutional Relations added: “While like everyone else, we thoroughly missed the opportunity during the pandemic to meet as a community. We anticipate reconnecting in a dynamic setting with dear colleagues and friends among speakers, participants, exhibitors and sponsors.”

For additional information on participating in the event series please visit: www.m-enabling.com

About E.J. Krause & Associates: 

For more than 30 years, E.J. Krause & Associates, Inc. (EJK) has been a worldwide leader in exhibition and conference management. EJK is one of the largest privately held exhibition management companies in the world, with offices on three continents. EJK produces a growing portfolio of over 40 events, serving 14 different industries. EJK excels in creating global brand leading events, bringing companies together to network and generate business. For more information please visit www.ejkrause.com

About G3ict:

G3ict, the Global Initiative for Inclusive Information and Communication Technologies, is an advocacy initiative launched in December 2006 in cooperation with the Secretariat for the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities at UNDESA. Its mission is to facilitate and support the implementation of the dispositions of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) promoting digital accessibility and Assistive Technologies. Participating organizations include industry, academia, the public sector and organizations representing persons with disabilities. Through its division IAAP, the International Association of Accessibility Professionals, G3ict offers professional development training and certification to more than 1,300 members in 39 countries.

For more information, please visit www.g3ict.org


Apply Now – Reaching Out MBA LGBT+ Summer Career Treks

Reaching Out MBA is excited to announce their lineup of summer career treks and encourage admitted and first-year LGBT+ MBA students to apply!

The treks are an amazing opportunity for students to connect with a range of top-tier companies looking for MBA talent and allows attendees to get a feel for a “day in the life”.

The treks run June – July and focus on the following industries: finance, consulting, technology, marketing/retail, and healthcare. Due to COVID-19, all 2021 treks will take place virtually.

Visit https://reachingoutmba.org/summer-treks/ for more information and to apply!

PEAT & SEED to Accept Zero Project Awards on Feb. 11th at 9 AM EST

On February 11th at 9 AM EST the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), along with their partners at the State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED), will accept their 2021 Zero Project Awards. This international award is given to a short list of organizations for their innovative practices and policies that support the rights and lives of persons with disabilities.

PEAT was honored for its role in fostering collaborations that make emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR), and autonomous vehicles (AV), accessible to people with disabilities. SEED was recognized for promoting state and local policies and practices through cooperative relationships with legislative and administrative bodies, leading to increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities. 

Register to attend the free virtual Zero Project Conference kicking off February 10th and join PEAT and SEED as they accept their awards on February 11th at 9 AM EST.


ERG Resource Group

Global ERG Network

Visit info@globalergnet.com for more information.


News from the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT)

Designing graphic representations of data—also known as data visualizations—for a wide range of users will help ensure everyone can access the information being presented. The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) released a new resource to support the development of accessible data visualizations for websites. Read “7 Tips to Make Your Data Visualizations Accessible” to learn more about designing for users with sensory, cognitive, and physical disabilities.

Telework Accessibility and the Law

PEAT also published “Telework Accessibility and the Law.” This resource helps employers better understand legal obligations on telework under the Americans with Disabilities Act. It also provides employer and employee resources on implementing digital accessibility, accommodations, and assistive technology. Read “Telework Accessibility and the Law”

PEAT Podcast

The most recent episode of PEAT’s Future of Work podcast features Jhillika Kumar, Founder and CEO of Mentra. Jhillika discusses how to create meaningful career opportunities for the neurodiverse community.

The Future of Work podcast is developed in partnership with Workology.com as part of the PEAT’s Future of Work series, which works to start conversations around how emerging workplace technology trends are impacting people with disabilities.​

Listen to the complete interview or read the transcript on PEAT’s website.


America’s Warrior Partnership and Runway of Dreams Foundation Collaborate to Provide Adaptive Clothing to Organizations Serving Veterans

America’s Warrior Partnership (AWP) recently announced that three of their partner organizations would receive adaptive clothing as a part of the Runway of Dreams Foundation and Seven7 Jeans donation to communities in need. Diné Naazbaa’, Higher Ground, and Vets’ Community Connections will each receive an allotment of the 5,000 pairs of adaptive jeans being provided to a dozen organizations around the country right before the holidays.

Founded on the basis that clothing is a basic human need, the Runway of Dreams Foundation works to ensure people with physical challenges have access to apparel that meets their physical needs and personal style. They accomplish their mission by raising awareness, advocating for change, and supporting innovation to support functional, and the development of adaptive apparel.

Seven7 Jeans was among the first mainstream clothing companies to become inclusive of people with physical challenges beginning in 2019, with solutions such as magnetic and micro Velcro closures replacing buttons and zippers and reinforced side belt loops.

“We are pleased to be partnering with the Runway of Dreams Foundation, Seven7 Jeans, and our partner organizations to provide adaptive apparel to veterans, their families, and caregivers,” stated Jim Lorraine, President and CEO of America’s Warrior Partnership. “One way to empower a veteran is by connecting them with resources in their community to fulfill basic needs, such as new clothing designed for those who have specific fit and sizing.”

America’s Warrior Partnership coordinated with the Runway of Dreams Foundation to identify organizations serving veterans and their families who would benefit from adaptive apparel. The three groups will receive the clothing beginning this month, and they will then distribute it to those within their communities.

Diné Naazbaa’

The Diné Naazbaa’ Partnership (DNP) is the first community-based program dedicated to empowering the Navajo Nation’s military veterans, their families, and caregivers. The program is currently conducting proactive outreach to the estimated 15,000 veterans living in the Navajo Nation to educate them on available resources and connect them with holistic support services.

The program elevates the work of local veteran-serving professionals by bridging the gaps that exist between community service providers and national resources. Supported by funding from the Schultz Family Foundation, it is the culmination of the Community Integration program.

“We are thrilled to be chosen to participate in the Runway of Dreams adaptive jeans program,” stated Inann Johns, Community Program Lead for Diné Naazbaa’ Partnership. “Being able to provide clothing to veterans and their family members shows the strength of our partnership and exemplifies how working together, we can provide the services our military veterans deserve.”

Vets’ Community Connections

Vets’ Community Connections (VCC) assists San Diego veterans, military, and their families in successfully integrating into their community by expanding their networks to include local organizations, businesses, and individuals.

“Vets’ Community Connections is thrilled to participate in the Runway of Dreams program and to connect local veterans with much-needed adaptive apparel,” said Amy Richards, Program Manager for Vets’ Community Connections. “Our work at VCC centers around involving the wider community, and this is a terrific example of what can be done when the business community fills gaps to support veterans.”

Higher Ground

Higher Ground is an adaptive sports nonprofit that looks to improve the lives of those with disabilities, including our nation’s veterans. Through the power of therapeutic recreation and continued support, Higher Ground bridges the gap between disability and belonging. With locations in Sun Valley, Idaho, Los Angeles, and Buffalo, New York, they bring the healing power of recreation from coast to coast. Empowering people of all abilities to achieve their highest quality of life with a variety of programming from weeklong camps for veterans, competitive adaptive sports, to social clubs for adults with cognitive disabilities, and finding a place for all.

“Higher Ground is proud to be chosen by AWP as an organization to receive adaptive apparel as a part of the Runway of Dreams Wardrobe Grant program, which is a step towards greater inclusion for all, regardless of physical challenges,” stated Kate Dobbie, Executive Director of Higher Ground. “With many of our participants’ unique needs, having an adaptive clothing option will make a difference in their everyday life. We thank Seven7 Jeans for the generously donated adaptive jeans and look forward to brightening the days and wardrobes of our participants.”

About America’s Warrior Partnership

America’s Warrior Partnership (AWP) is a nonprofit organization committed to empowering communities to empower veterans. We accomplish this mission by understanding and building relationships with veterans and their families to enhance and improve the quality of their life by connectingwith them and collaborating with community organizations. Our ultimate goal is to use a proactive and holistic approach to decrease suicide and non-natural causes of death of former service members.

www.AmericasWarriorPartnership.org | @AWPartnership | #awpartnership

About Runway of Dreams Foundation

The Runway of Dreams Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works towards a future of inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities. Founded on the basis that clothing is a basic human need, the Runway of Dreams Foundation develops, delivers, and supports initiatives to broaden the reach of adaptive clothing and promote people with disabilities in fashion. Through adaptive runway shows, awareness building campaigns, college clubs, wardrobe grants and scholarship programs, the Runway of Dreams Foundation is empowering people with disabilities with opportunity, confidence, independence, and style.

www.runwayofdreams.org | @runwayofdreams | #RethinkTheRunway

About Seven7 Adaptive

Seven7 Jeans, a part of Sunrise Brands, was among the first mainstream clothing lines to become inclusive of people with disabilities. Our first line of adaptive jeans was made available in November 2019, creating solutions to ease of dressing like magnetic and micro velcro closures in place of buttons and zippers, and reinforced side belt loops. Originating in Europe in the 1960s, Seven7 delivers seasonal menswear and womenswear collections in a wide range of sizes and silhouettes. As one of LA’s most affordably priced premium denim brands, Seven7 Jeans is widely known for its fantastic fits, superior quality, handcrafted details and unique treatments.

www.seven7jeans.com | @seven7jeans


PEAT Receives the Zero Project Award

The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), along with their partners at the State Exchange on Employment & Disability (SEED), received the 2021 Zero Project Award. This international award is given to a short list of organizations for their innovative practices and policies that support the rights and lives of people with disabilities. PEAT was honored for its role in fostering collaborations that make emerging technologies, such as artificial intelligence (AI), extended reality (XR), and autonomous vehicles (AV), accessible to people with disabilities. Learn more about emerging technologies in the workplace and the implications for people with disabilities. 

How to Create Accessible Documents

Documents must be designed to enable people with and without disabilities to easily access and edit them. The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) released a new resource providing basic steps employers and employers can follow to ensure any document they create is accessible. Read “Making Documents Accessible” to learn how you can ensure your text, list structures, tables, images, and more are accessible in the documents you create. 


ANNOUNCING Project Connect: Disability Support Phone Line

With all the challenges happening right now it is easy to feel overwhelmed, stressed, anxious, or a lot of other emotions.

If you are a person with a disabiltiy, a caregiver, family member or provide support services and are struggling, CALL NOW! Counselors are available 24-hours, 7 days a week.

1-888-847-3209

Remember, you are not alone! Take the time to talk, Project Connect is FREE and we hope that you will use it. Whether you are just feeling a little down and need someone to talk to, or you feel that you need on-going support Project Connect is here for you.


Top Scoring Companies for Disability Inclusion in North Carolina

CHARLOTTE, NORTH CAROLINA (October, 2020) – Disability:IN North Carolina kicks-off National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) by recognizing 8 DI-NC member companies ranking among the best places to work for disability inclusion in the state.

Acknowledged during the 2020 Disability:IN North Carolina Virtual Fall Conference hosted by corporate sponsor, Trane Technologies and their VisAbility Employee Resource Group, the 8 DI-NC employer award winners received high scores on the Disability Equality Index (DEI) a national bench-marking tool designed to help companies create corporate cultures that are accessible to everyone. Research now shows that companies like these that embrace disability inclusion best practices, perform better financially in revenue, net income and economic profit margins. (#DisabilityAdvantage).

“On behalf of the Disability:IN North Carolina Board of Directors, I congratulate these 8 Companies on their 2020 DI-NC Employer Awards. As Top Scoring Companies of the 2020 DEI and members of Disability:IN North Carolina we honor and recognize them for their commitment to invest in disability inclusion, not only at a national level but at the affiliate level, right here in NC.”

The DI-NC Employer Award recipients included: Allstate, Biogen, Equitable, EY, KPMG, Lowe’s Companies, MetLife and Novant Health. These companies scored higher because of their focus on digital accessibility, committed leadership initiatives, and increasing employee engagement through resource groups focused on disability inclusion best practices.

“As a Best Place to Work for Disability Inclusion, Equitable has leveraged our relationship with Disability:IN North Carolina to expand our talent network,” Justin Francis, Sr. Director & Protection Solutions CFO of Equitable. Companies that show dedication to an accessible workplace for all employees receive higher DEI scores and draw more attention to disability inclusion across states and the country.

Further progress to improve disability inclusion strategies will enhance any diversity program.

About: DI-NC

Disability:IN North Carolina was recently named 2020 Affiliate of the year by Disability:IN. We are a business-led private non-profit and partner with North Carolina businesses to achieve disability inclusion and equality in the workplace, marketplace and supply chain. Join us at www.di-nc.org


US Organizations Receive Diversity Impact Awards at ERG Leadership Summit

Greensboro, NC (October, 2020)The Association of ERGs & Councils (a practice group of PRISM International, Inc. and Talent Dimensions) recognized the outstanding achievements of Employee Resource Groups, Diversity Councils and other DE&I initiatives at the Diversity Impact Awards™ ceremonies during the USC Marshall Center for Effective Organizations 2020 ERG Leadership Summit Week: A Virtual Event October 19 – October 24.

Each evening of the conference included award ceremonies honoring the Top 25 US Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), Top 10 Enterprise-Wide ERGs, Top 10 Diversity Action and Executive Sponsor of the Year Recognition Awards. “The virtual event didn’t dampen the spirit and excitement of the award winners as they celebrated the incredible accomplishments of their teams,” said Lynn Cowart, Principle and Chief Operations Officer at Talent Dimensions.

The Diversity Impact Awards™ was launched in 2020 and is the next iteration of the ERG & Council Honors Award™. The ERG & Council Honors Award™ was the first, and until recently, the only annual national award that recognized and honored the outstanding contributions and achievements of ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. It was established in 2008 by the Association of ERGs & Councils, a practice group of diversity and inclusion consulting and training firm, PRISM International, Inc.

The 2020 Diversity Impact Awards™ were reimagined to leverage a data-driven and scientifically-validated model developed by Dr. Theresa M. Welbourne, Will and Maggie Brooke Professor in Entrepreneurship at the University of Alabama and CEO of eePulse, to ensure buy-in from key stakeholders and drive greater learning. The awards were segmented to create a level playing field for individual ERGs, enterprise-wide ERG programs and non-ERG Diversity initiatives. For the second year, we are honoring the important work of Executive Sponsors.

“While we were excited to launch the new Diversity Impact Awards after almost a year of research and gaining input, launching a new awards structure during COVID-19 was challenging to say the least. We considered taking a hiatus given what organizations were experiencing. We quickly realized that this work was far too important and the individuals volunteering countless hours to create organizations where ALL people felt engaged, included and that they belong, must be recognized,” said Cile Johnson, Principle and Chief Business Officer at Talent Dimensions.

Congratulations to all our Diversity Impact Award winners!

The 2020 Diversity Impact Awards™ Top 25 ERG Award recipients:

  1. Blue Cross NC – GlobalNet
  2. Novant Health – Women’s Business Resource Group
  3. Northwestern Mutual – Asian Employee Resource Group
  4. Rockwell Automation – Cultures Connected
  5. Northwestern Mutual – Women’s Employee Resource Group
  6. ChristianaCare – Women’s Employee Network (WEN)
  7. Mount Sinai Health System – Heritage of Latino Alliance Employee Resource Group
  8. Northwestern Mutual – Hispanic Employee Resource Group
  9. Northwestern Mutual – Mutual disAbility Alliance
  10. NextEra Energy – African American Employee Professional Group
  11. Novant Health – Persons with Abilities Business Resource Group
  12. Novant Health – Black/African American Business Resource Group
  13. Southern California Edison – Latinos for Engagement, Advancement and Development (LEAD)
  14. Erie Insurance – Women’s Affinity Group
  15. Bank of America – LEAD for Women
  16. Northwestern Mutual – Military Veteran Employee Resource Group (MVERG)
  17. NextEra Energy – Women in Energy
  18. Novant Health – Pride Business Resource Group
  19. State Street – Professional Women’s Network Massachusetts Chapter (PWN-MA)
  20. Novant Health – Veterans’ Business Resource Group
  21. JetBlue – JetBlue African Diaspora Experience (JADE)
  22. Dominion Energy – We3
  23. American Airlines – Latin Diversity Network EBRG
  24. Halliburton – Women Sharing Excellence
  25. American Airlines – Professional Women in Aviation EBRG

The 2020 Diversity Impact Awards™ Top 10 Enterprise-Wide ERG Award recipients:

  1. Bank of America – Bank of America Enterprise ERGs
  2. Northern Trust – Northern Trust Business Resource Council Advisory Council (BRCAC)
  3. Asurion – Asurion ERGs
  4. Cigna – Power of Connections Wellness Circles
  5. Southern Company Gas – 2019 ERG Program Expansion/Evolution
  6. Banner Health – Team Member Resource Group (TMRGs) Launch
  7. University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – Diversity Council and Employee Networks
  8. Perdue Farms, Inc. – “Day of Understanding”
  9. Tennessee Valley Authority – TVA ERG Collaboration
  10. American Airlines – Abraham’s Tent – Christian, Jewish and Muslim EBRGs

The 2020 Diversity Impact Awards Top 10 Diversity Action Award recipients:

  1. Mount Sinai Beth Israel – Go Red Event
  2. Portsmouth Naval Shipyard
  3. Froedtert Health – Disability Etiquette
  4. Ricoh – International Women’s Day
  5. Halliburton – Focus on Family
  6. NASCAR – Heritage History Series
  7. Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana – Strategic Plan
  8. Novant Health – Health Equity Council
  9. American Airlines – Virtual Inclusion Week
  10. Novant Health – Cross Cultural Communications Program

The 2020 Diversity Impact Awards Executive Sponsor of the Year recipients in alphabetical order:

  • Dominion Energy – Wendy Wellener, Vice President – Shared Services
  • NextEra Energy, Inc. – Kate Stengle, Vice President Internal Audit
  • Northern Trust – Shundrawn Thomas, President of Northern Trust Asset Management (NTAM)
  • Novant Health – Chere Gregory, MD, SVP Chief Health Equity Officer Diversity & Inclusion

About the Diversity Impact Awards™
The Diversity Impact Awards™ program was launched in 2020 and is the next iteration of the ERG & Council Honors Award™. The ERG & Council Honors Award™ was the first, and until recently, the only annual national award that recognized and honored the outstanding contributions and achievements of ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. The new award process leverages a data-driven and scientifically validated model to create collective learning within and across organizations. The honor award was established in 2008 by the Association of ERGs & Councils, a practice group of diversity and inclusion consulting and training firm, PRISM International, Inc.

About the ERG & Council Conference™
ERGs and Diversity Councils are vital links for improving organizational results. However, to remain impactful and effective, they need opportunities to increase their skills and knowledge and to learn and share best practices. They need opportunities to network, celebrate and grow. This was the purpose of the first annual conference designed specifically for ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. Learn more by visiting http://www.ergcouncilconference.com.

About the Association of ERGs & Councils
The Association of ERGs & Councils is a practice group of PRISM International, Inc. and Talent Dimensions and the premier resource for transforming Employee Resource Groups, Diversity Councils and Employee Network Groups to impact key organizational and business objectives. Learn more by visiting www.ergcouncil.com.

About PRISM International, Inc.
PRISM, a Talent Dimensions company, is a full-service provider of innovative and proven consulting, training and products for leveraging diversity and inclusion, addressing unconscious bias, increasing cross-cultural competencies and creating more effective ERGs and Diversity Councils. Learn more by visiting www.prismdiversity.com.


Building A Future That Works – A Virtual Event

October is the 75th year of National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), an annual event to raise awareness that disability is a strength—and companies that provide the right inclusive environment reap powerful benefits. To commemorate NDEAM and the 30th Anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act, the U.S. Department of Labor hosted “Building a Future that Works” on October 20th, a virtual event exploring the U.S. Department of Labor’s work to ensure emerging technologies are accessible to all in the workplace. 

At the event moderated by Deputy Assistant Secretary of Labor for Disability Employment Policy Jennifer Sheehy, tech leaders and disability rights advocates discussed the crucial role of accessible technology and how we can ensure emerging technologies are accessible to all in the workplace. Speakers included: 

  • Secretary of Labor, Eugene Scalia 
  • Cathy Hackl, Futurist and Author of The Augmented Workforce 
  • Vint Cerf, Internet Guru, Vice President and Chief Internet Evangelist at Google 
  • Bobby Silverstein, Disability Policy Expert, Principal at Powers Pyles Sutter and Verville 
  • Martez Mott, Ph.D., Postdoctoral Researcher at Microsoft Research 
  • Rory Cooper, Ph.D., Distinguished Professor at University of Pittsburgh 
  • Haley Moss, Attorney, Author, and Law Expert in Autism and Neurodiversity 

Visit PEATworks.org/NDEAM to watch highlights from the event, including a showcase of the latest innovations in communications, artificial intelligence, autonomous vehicles, and more. In the coming days you’ll also find full-length video interviews from the event. Follow @PEATworks on Twitter for updates on their release. 

Podcast: Accessibility Solutions for Employees 

The Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT) published a new podcast episode, “Accessibility Solutions for Employees.” In this episode Mike Hess, Founder and Executive Director of the Blind Institute of Technology, discusses the positive impact of accessibility solutions for both employees and employers. 

The Future of Work podcast is developed in partnership with Workology.com as part of the PEAT’s Future of Work series, focused on starting conversations around how emerging workplace technology trends are impacting people with disabilities. During the interview Workology’s Jessica Miller-Merrell talks with Mike Hess about breaking down the two biggest myths when it comes to working with people with disabilities: 1) the belief that technology and employee accessibility is expensive and 2) employees with disabilities hurt, not help drive business revenue. 

Listen to the complete interview with Mike Hess on the PEAT website.   


The PEAT Team Honored with Service to the Citizen: Champions of Change™ Award!

Michael Reardon, Dr. Scott Michael Robertson, and Nathan Cunningham of the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) were honored for their work leading the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology (PEAT), receiving the Service to the Citizen: Champions of Change™ Award. The Award recognizes federal public servants and their industry partners who have shown their commitment and capability to deliver programs and services that improve the lives of the American public.

The PEAT team is especially excited to be recognized in 2020 since this year marks the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The ADA, a landmark law, opened the door for people with disabilities to equitably participate in all aspects of society, including competitive, integrated employment.

Go to PEAT’s website to watch the video or read the transcript of their acceptance and read the full blog post.


The Nuts And Bolts Of How To Make Your Workplace Meeting Accessible

Jessica Miller-Merrell is a globally recognized HR and talent acquisition consultant and Founder of Workology, a workplace resource.

With so many employees being thrust suddenly into the remote workforce because of Covid-19, an entirely new challenge has been brought to the forefront around workplace accessibility. In order to accommodate all employees in this new environment, including those with disabilities, there are specific features we want to look for in the tools and applications we use to meet and connect remotely.

Considering that the majority of your employees may be working from home for the first time, ensuring that they are able to be productive and understand how to use remote tools and applications is imperative. It’s also important to choose platforms and technology that set a higher bar when it comes to meeting accessibility requirements for people with disabilities — especially when you consider that 30% of white-collar workers in the United States have a disability.

Regardless of whether you’re working together in person or virtually, organizations should make every effort to ensure that tools are accessible to all employees to promote workspaces that are compliant with the Americans with Disabilities Act. One area to focus on is presentations and meetings. Virtual co-workers have scheduled or unplanned meetings to check in on the status of assignments and projects, just as they would in an in-person or face-to-face meeting. Presentations, both for small and large groups, are held online to share knowledge and information.

In this recent Forbes article, Jessica Miller-Merrell outlined the Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology’s (PEAT’s) seven steps to make your virtual meetings accessible. These include:

• Do research. Identify accessibility features of the online platform you intend to use for remote working, including messaging, virtual meetings, presentations and information sharing.

• Get a sense of everyone’s needs. When inviting employees to join a virtual presentation, encourage attendees to share their accommodation needs in order to engage effectively, such as recording the presentation for reference and sharing materials.

• Implement systems. Arrange captioning, and prepare to record your presentation. Secure sign language interpreters, if necessary. 

Get more information about the steps above, and read all seven steps in PEAT’s blog post: 7 Steps to Make Your Virtual Meetings Accessible

US Organizations to Receive Diversity Impact Awards at October Conference

The Association of ERGs & Councils (a practice group of PRISM International, Inc. and Talent Dimensions) released their annual list of the Top 25 US Employee Resource Groups (ERGs), Top 10 Enterprise-Wide ERGs, Top 10 Diversity Action and Executive Sponsor Recognition Awards.  These groups will be recognized at an award ceremony during the USC Marshall School of Business Center for Effective Organizations 2020 ERG Leadership Summit Week: A Virtual Event October 19 – October 24, 2020.

The Diversity Impact Awards™ was launched in 2020 and is the next iteration of the ERG & Council Honors Award™.  The ERG & Council Honors Award™ was the first, and until recently, the only annual national award that recognized and honored the outstanding contributions and achievements of ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. It was established in 2008 by the Association of ERGs & Councils, a practice group of diversity and inclusion consulting and training firm PRISM International, Inc.

In 2018, PRISM International was acquired by Talent Dimensions to help organizations weave Diversity, Equity and Inclusion (DE&I) into the fabric of its culture.  “This can only happen if the organization develops a DE&I strategy aligned to the business strategy and the appropriate structure exists to ensure successful implementation.  Diversity Councils and ERGs (BRGs, Affinity Groups, Networks, etc.) serve as one of the most important levers to drive the tactical execution of that strategy,” shares Lynn Cowart, Principle and Chief Operations Office at Talent Dimensions.

The 2020 Diversity Impact Awards™ were reimagined to leverage a data driven and scientifically validated model developed by Dr. Theresa Welbourne, Senior Affiliate Research Scientist at the USC Marshall School of Business Center for Effective Organizations, Will and Maggie Brooke Professor in Entrepreneurship at the University of Alabama, and CEO of eePulse, to ensure buy-in from key stakeholders and drive greater learning.  The awards were segmented to create a level playing field for individual ERGs, enterprise-wide ERG programs and non-ERG Diversity initiatives.  For the second year, we are honoring the important work of Executive Sponsors.

“While we were excited to launch the new Diversity Impact Awards after almost a year of research and gaining input, launching a new awards structure during COVID-19 was challenging to say the least.  We considered taking a hiatus given what organizations were experiencing.  We quickly realized that this work was far too important and the individuals volunteering countless hours to create organizations where ALL people felt engaged, included and that they belong, must be recognized,” said Cile Johnson, Principle and Chief Business Officer at Talent Dimensions. “Our partnership with the USC Marshall School of Business Center for Effective Organizations further supported the importance of the recognition of leaders and organizations.”

The 2020 Diversity Impact Awards recipient rankings will be revealed at USC Marshall School of Business Center for Effective (CEO) Organizations ERG Leadership Summit Week October 19 – October 24.

The 2020 Diversity Impact Awards™ Top 25 ERG Award recipients in alphabetical order include:

  • American Airlines – Professional Women in Aviation EBRG
  • American Airlines – Latin Diversity Network EBRG
  • Bank of America – LEAD for Women
  • Blue Cross NC – GlobalNet
  • ChristianaCare – Women’s Employee Network (WEN)
  • Dominion Energy – We3
  • Erie Insurance – Women’s Affinity Group
  • Halliburton – Women Sharing Excellence
  • JetBlue – JetBlue African Diaspora Experience (JADE)
  • Mount Sinai Health System – Heritage of Latino Alliance Employee Resource Group
  • NextEra Energy – African American Employee Professional Group
  • NextEra Energy – Women in Energy
  • Northwestern Mutual – Asian Employee Resource Group
  • Northwestern Mutual – Women’s Employee Resource Group
  • Northwestern Mutual – Hispanic Employee Resource Group
  • Northwestern Mutual – Mutual disAbility Alliance
  • Northwestern Mutual – Military Veteran Employee Resource Group (MVERG)
  • Novant Health – Women’s Business Resource Group
  • Novant Health – Persons with Abilities Busines Resource Group
  • Novant Health – Black/African American Business Resource Group
  • Novant Health – Pride Business Resource Group
  • Novant Health – Veterans’ Business Resource Group
  • Rockwell Automation – Cultures Connected
  • Southern California Edison, Latinos for Engagement Advancement and Development (LEAD)
  • State Street – Professional Women’s Network Massachusetts Chapter (PWN-MA)

The 2020 Diversity Impact Awards™ Top 10 Enterprise-Wide ERG Award recipients in alphabetical order include:

  • American Airlines – Abraham’s Tent – Christian, Jewish, and Muslim EBRGs
  • Asurion – Asurion ERGs
  • Bank of America – Bank of America Enterprise ERGs
  • Banner Health – Team Member Resource Group (TMRGs) Launch
  • Cigna – Employee Resource Groups
  • Northern Trust – Northern Trust Business Resource Council Advisory Council (BRCAC)
  • Perdue Farms, Inc. – “Day of Understanding”
  • Southern Company Gas – 2019 ERG Program Expansion/Evolution
  • Tennessee Valley Authority – TVA ERG Collaboration
  • University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center – Diversity Council and Employee Networks

The 2020 Diversity Impact Awards Top 10 Diversity Action Award recipients in alphabetical order include:

  • American Airlines – Virtual Inclusion Week
  • Blue Cross Blue Shield of Louisiana – Strategic Plan
  • Froedtert Health – Disability Etiquette
  • Halliburton – Focus on Family
  • Mount Sinai Beth Israel – Go Red Event
  • NASCAR – Heritage History Series
  • Novant Health – Health Equity Council
  • Novant Health – Cross Cultural Communications Program
  • Portsmouth Naval Shipyard – Disability Etiquette: Perspective Changing
  • Ricoh – International Women’s Day

The 2020 Diversity Impact Awards Executive Sponsor of the Year recipients in alphabetical order:

  • Dominion Energy – Wendy Wellener, Vice President – Shared Services
  • NextEra Energy, Inc. – Kate Stengle, Vice President Internal Audit
  • Northern Trust – Shundrawn Thomas, President of Northern Trust Asset Management (NTAM)
  • Novant Health – Chere Gregory, MD, SVP Chief Health Equity Officer Diversity & Inclusion

About the Diversity Impact Awards™
The Diversity Impact Awards™ program was launched in 2020 and is the next iteration of the ERG & Council Honors Award™.  The ERG & Council Honors Award™ was the first, and until recently, the only annual national award that recognized and honored the outstanding contributions and achievements of ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils.  The new award process leverages a data driven and scientifically validated model to create collective learning within and across organizations.  The honor award was established in 2008 by the Association of ERGs & Councils, a practice group of diversity and inclusion consulting and training firm PRISM International, Inc.

About the ERG & Council Conference™
ERGs and Diversity Councils are vital links for improving organizational results. However, to remain impactful and effective, they need opportunities to increase their skills and knowledge and to learn and share best practices. They need opportunities to network, celebrate and grow. This was the purpose of the first annual conference designed specifically for ERGs, BRGs and Diversity Councils. Learn more by visiting http://www.ergcouncilconference.com.

About the Association of ERGs & Councils
The Association of ERGs & Councils is a practice group of PRISM International, Inc. and the premier resource for transforming Employee Resource Groups, Diversity Councils and Employee Network Groups to impact key organizational and business objectives. Learn more by visiting www.ergcouncil.com.

About PRISM International, Inc.
PRISM, a Talent Dimensions company, is a full-service provider of innovative and proven consulting, training and products for leveraging diversity and inclusion, addressing unconscious bias, increasing cross-cultural competencies and creating more effective ERGs and Diversity Councils. Learn more by visiting www.prismdiversity.com.

About USC Marshall School of Business Center for Effective Organizations
Since its founding over 40 years ago, the Center for Effective Organizations (CEO), a research center in the USC Marshall School of Business, is world-renowned for its breakthrough research and insights on organizational performance, effectiveness and talent management. Today, CEO is at the forefront, discovering and creating the latest knowledge in the design and management of organizations for companies that range from mid-sized to the Global 500. CEO’s worldwide network includes research scientists, faculty experts, best-selling authors, and corporate partners. Working together, they provide forward-thinking leaders with trusted insights and the hands-on learning they need to help them solve complex problems and build highly effective, sustainable organizations.


Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT): Podcast: Accessibility, Training and Job Creation

The most recent episode of the Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology (PEAT)’s Future of Work podcast features Shane Kanady, Vice President of Workforce Development at Source America, as he discusses Accessibility, Training and Job Creation for people with disabilities.

The Future of Work podcast is developed in partnership with Workology.com as part of the PEAT’s Future of Work series, which works to start conversations around how emerging workplace technology trends are impacting people with disabilities.​

During the interview, Workology’s Jessica Miller-Merrell notes that 2020 is the 30th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and she asks Shane what emerging workplace trends or technologies he thinks will have the biggest impact on people with disabilities in the next 30 years. Here is what Shane said:

“I think this is a great question. And I really thought a lot about it as I was preparing. But I’d like to approach it really in the context of current events and you know comparing that to historical trends. So, as we come through the COVID-19 crisis and navigate this period of economic recession or impact, it’s important to recognize that diverse groups have different experiences with social and economic disruption. It’s not the same across the board. And historically, persons with disabilities have seen significant declines in employment following recessions and periods of recovery, which speeds up long term trends that we see in detachment from the labor market. So kind of putting it in that context, before we had this experience with the COVID-19 outbreak, we saw an increased attention to hiring persons with disabilities as a result of the historically low levels of unemployment that we had over the past couple of years. And there are several issues with that topic that I explore in some of my other reports. But there is also just the positive aspect of having that increased media attention on that topic. But there’s a reason to be concerned that that momentum that was built up over those 10 years of economic recovery, around diversity and inclusion around persons with disabilities might be lost because of this next recession. So the trend that I hope to see is a continuation of that attention and the promotion of hiring persons with disabilities, not just as candidates of last resort, when employers are struggling to fill jobs in good economic times, but as talented contributors with lived experiences that offer new perspectives to propel businesses forward. We can talk about different aspects of technology and increases in remote options and the gig economy and those sorts of things. But a decrease in public awareness and recognition of the value of persons with disabilities might really kind of undermine the potential of what could be experienced through any of these new options and new emerging things that we’re all taking for granted.”

Listen to the complete interview with Shane on the PEAT website.


AAPD Statement on the Passing of Cheryl Sensenbrenner

The American Association of People with Disabilities mourns the loss of Cheryl Sensenbrenner. The wife of Congressman Jim Sensenbrenner and former AAPD Board Chair, Cheryl’s leadership was critical to the advancement of AAPD and the cross-disability rights movement. She was particularly passionate about AAPD’s internship program and developing the next generation of disability rights leaders. Cheryl, who was a self-advocate, sibling-advocate, and parent-advocate, was a tireless champion for inclusion. Her tenacity and advocacy were critical to the passage of the Americans with Disabilities Amendments Act of 2008. In addition to her passion, she will be remembered for her humor and her charisma.

“Upon the recent passing of Cheryl Sensenbrenner, the global disability rights community lost one of our leading activists and agents for social reform and equal rights. Cheryl was a force of nature for positive change both on Capitol Hill and her native Wisconsin, where she hosted me for a whirlwind advocacy tour across the state, proving that our odd couple, Democrat and Republican, tag team can, in fact, be friends, work together, and collaborate and unite behind basic principles of justice and inclusion for all Americans. She never took “No” for an answer in her quest to build a society in which people with disabilities are valued equally and can participate fully – and I will be forever inspired by her example.” – AAPD Board Chair Ted Kennedy Jr.


News for NGLCC

NGLCC logo
HELPING THE LGBT BUSINESS COMMUNITY THROUGH THE COVID-19 CRISIS

In our recent email blast we shared that NGLCC will always continue to work for you and our communities. We ask all stakeholders to check NGLCC’s social media pages for updates on business development webinars and trainings; online matchmakers, both B2B and corporate; support with drafting capability statements and RFPs; and much, much more to help our businesses and community stay strong and ready for the year ahead.

We encourage all stakeholders to regularly check our landing page for Coronavirus relief and other essential updates: NGLCC Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19). There you will find resources from the Small Business Administration, as well as NGLCC Corporate Partners, to assist small businesses with their recovery.

Additionally, many NGLCC local affiliate chambers have regional information an economic recovery opportunities available. To find your closest local affiliate, click here.

Special Resources:

1) NGLCC COVID-19 Resource Hub for the LGBT Business Community

2) LGBTBE Business Webinars And Video Resources During Covid-19

LGBTBE BUSINESS WEBINARS

AND VIDEO RESOURCES DURING COVID-19

Questions? Webinars@nglcc.org

This page is dedicated to our network of exceptional, innovative Certified LGBT Business Enterprise® (Certified LGBTBE®) suppliers in the NGLCC network. Here you will find information on business development webinars and trainings; online matchmakers, both B2B and corporate; support with drafting capability statements and RFPs; and much, much more to help our businesses and community stay strong and ready for the year ahead.

For funding and economic relief information, please visit our hub: NGLCC Guidance for Businesses and Employers to Plan and Respond to Coronavirus Disease 2019 (COVID-19).

Additionally, many NGLCC local affiliate chambers have regional information an economic recovery opportunities available. To find your closest local affiliate, click here.


NMSDC – A Message From The President

Like everyone in the network, NMSDC’s national office is innovating every day to keep our mission and our work moving forward during the COVID-19 virus emergency.

Take a look at this new update from NMSDC President/CEO Adrienne C. Trimble about how the NMSDC is working in this environment – and how that is reshaping our plans for 2020.

NMSDC is mobilizing on the virtual level. Our national office and our regional affiliates are all operating remotely, in safety and security, but we are still conducting business as usual. We are here for you, as always.

We hope you are participating in our new, weekly virtual Town Halls – online every Thursday afternoon. Join us this week for our live stream on YouTube: How CPOs Are Responding: The Corporate Perspective on the COVID-19 Business Challenges.
Technology is allowing NMSDC to keep the conversation going between MBEs and corporate members, even as we are all isolated. Engagement so far in the Town Halls has been vigorous, thought-provoking, and helpful in these difficult days. Stay tuned to your email and social media for more information on these can’t-miss events.

Sadly, as you know, the health emergency has forced the postponement of Leadership Week and the Leadership Awards gala. We hope to reschedule or otherwise make the planned content and meetings available to you.

We are also monitoring developments to see how they might affect our “destination” events later in 2020 – notably, the Program Managers’ Seminar July 14-16 in Orlando, and the annual Conference and Business Opportunity Exchange October 25-28 in Phoenix.

We will keep you apprised of developments as they occur.

Staying in touch is vital during this crisis. Never has it been more important for all of us to remember that, even from a distance …
#WeAreNMSDC!


Health Care HR Week 2020 Sponsored by ASHHRA

 

Health Care Human Resources Week will be observed March 16-20, 2020. It is designated to recognize human resources professionals in health care organizations across the nation for their important role across the continuum of care.

For more information visit ashhra.org/HCHRWeek.

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Upcoming Events

  1. 2021 ERG & Council Conference
    September 15, 2021 - September 17, 2021

Upcoming Events

  1. 2021 ERG & Council Conference
    September 15, 2021 - September 17, 2021