USBLN, Biz-2-Biz Report

A Monthly Publication of the USBLN®
Volume 5, Issue 3, March 31, 2012


A Message from Jill Houghton USBLN® Executive Director

Educational Track Chairs Announced for 2012 USBLN® 15th Annual Conference

It is with great enthusiasm that we announce our USBLN® 15th Annual Conference Educational Track Chairs for 2012. We are extremely privileged to have the vision and expertise of these highly respected individuals guiding and shaping our quality programming for our premier event on October 1-4, 2012 in Orlando, Florida. We are confident that the energy and dedication of Michael, Susan and Richard will be instrumental in the success of our conference! Stay tuned for our preliminary agenda to be released this May.

February Early-bird Prize Raffle Winners Congratulations to the following winners of our Early-bird Prize Raffle drawing! All attendees that registered for our USBLN® 15th Annual Conference & Expo through February 29th were eligible to win. For events details and to register now, visit: http://www.usblnannualconference.org/.

Juntos Podemos (Together We Can)!
Jill Houghton


Walgreens Bets Big On Employees with Disabilities

USBLN® Corporate and Disability Supplier Diversity Program® (DSDP) member company Walgreens is expanding its efforts to employ people with disabilities, with a new focus on inclusion at retail stores.

The national drugstore chain, which first embraced inclusion with a goal of having employees with disabilities make up 10 percent of its distribution center workforce, is rapidly bringing the concept to the storefront.

Through a pilot program that began in Texas, Walgreens is partnering with local service providers to identify and train those with disabilities for jobs as cashiers and other retail positions, company officials said.

The program is currently in place in Dallas, Houston, Chicago and New York as well as parts of Wisconsin and Connecticut, according to Walgreens spokeswoman Vivika Panagiotakakos who indicated that further expansion is expected.

Though the drugstore is behind the training initiative, some participants accept jobs at other retailers as well, said Panagiotakakos who characterized the initiative as “very successful.”

In addition to actively hiring more people with disabilities, Walgreens has become a model for other large companies as well. Last year, Proctor & Gamble cited Walgreens’ example when they announced that at least 30 percent of employees at a new packaging facility in Maine would be people with physical or developmental disabilities.

While welcome by many in the disability community, the corporate inclusion efforts are far from the norm. Americans with disabilities faced a 15.8 percent unemployment rate in February, according to the U.S. Department of Labor — significantly higher than the 8.3 percent jobless rate experienced by the general population.

Source: Disability Scoop (http://www.disabilityscoop.com)


“Building an Inclusive Workforce” Desktop Flip Guide is ODEP's New Featured Resource

Building an Inclusive Workforce: A Four-Step Reference Guide to Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Employees with Disabilities” desktop flip guide is now available for download from ODEP's website. The publication can also be ordered free of charge in hard copy.

Source: Office of Disability Employment Policy (http://www.dol.gov/odep/)


Special Thanks to USBLN® Student Advisory Council Officers Paul Fogle and Stephanie Hammerman

It is with sadness that we announce the resignation of Paul Fogle and Stephanie Hammerman from the USBLN® Student Advisory Council. Both Paul and Stephanie have served on the Council since its inception two years ago. Paul, who served as Chair of the Council, is in the Master’s in Public Administration program at Penn State Harrisburg. Stephanie Hammerman, was served as the Secretary, is a Senior at Lynn University, Boca Raton, FL, studying in the field of communications, majoring in Advertising and Public Relations.

The national Student Advisory Council (SAC) informs, educates, advises and assists the USBLN®, its corporate members and affiliates on the ways in which to effectively engage youth with disabilities. We thank both Paul and Stephanie for their work, dedication, insights and leadership on the SAC. Their support of businesses interested in the inclusion of people with disabilities has been invaluable. We wish them well in their future endeavors.

Source: US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) (www.usbln.org)


At work, it’s what people CAN do that matters.

That's why the USBLN® is a founding partner and proud supporter of the Campaign for Disability Employment, a collaborative effort to promote positive employment outcomes for people with disabilities. Show your support for the initiative and learn more at WhatCanYouDoCampaign.org.

Source: Campaign for Disability Employment


EEOC Issues Revised Publications on Employment of Veterans with Disabilities

User-Friendly Documents Clarify Impact of ADAAA; Commission Will Participate in Employment Conference Sponsored by U.S. Army Wounded Warrior Program

WASHINGTON – The U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) today issued two revised publications addressing veterans with disabilities and the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). Both documents are available on the agency’s website at www.eeoc.gov.

The revised guides reflect changes to the law stemming from the ADA Amendments Act of 2008, which make it easier for veterans with a wide range of impairments – including those that are often not well understood -- such as traumatic brain injuries (TBI) and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD), to get needed reasonable accommodations that will enable them to work successfully. [Prior to the ADA Amendments Act, the ADA’s definition of the term “disability” had been construed narrowly, significantly limiting the law’s protections.]

The revised documents are also an outgrowth of a public meeting the EEOC held on Nov. 16, 2011 entitled “Overcoming Barriers to the Employment of Veterans with Disabilities.” In that meeting, the Commission heard testimony from a panel of experts on the unique needs of veterans with disabilities transitioning to civilian employment. The particular challenges faced by veterans with disabilities in obtaining employment has been the subject of increased attention in recent months, as large numbers of veterans return from service in Iraq and Afghanistan.

The Guide for Employers explains how protections for veterans with service-connected disabilities differ under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the Uniformed Services Employment and Reemployment Rights Act (USERRA), and how employers can prevent disability-based discrimination and provide reasonable accommodations.

The Guide for Wounded Veterans answers questions that veterans with service-related disabilities may have about the protections they are entitled to when they seek to return to their former jobs or look for civilian jobs. The publication also explains the kinds of accommodations that may be necessary to help veterans with disabilities obtain and successfully maintain employment.

“We want veterans with disabilities to know that the EEOC has resources to assist them as they transition to, or move within the civilian workforce,” said EEOC Chair Jacqueline A. Berrien. “The release of these publications demonstrates our commitment to ensuring that veterans with disabilities receive the full protection of the laws we enforce, and that employers understand how to comply with those laws.”

On February 27-28 the EEOC will give presentations at an employment conference for severely injured U.S. Army personnel at Fort Belvoir, Virginia, sponsored by the Department of the Army’s Army Wounded Warrior (AW2) Program. The presentations will provide information to employers about the employment of veterans with disabilities and the ADA, and training for severely injured soldiers to help them learn their rights under the ADA as they seek civilian employment.

Read the full article: http://www.eeoc.gov/eeoc/newsroom/release/2-28-12.cfm

Source: U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) (www.eeoc.gov)


Implementing Section 508: Improving Access to Government Information and Data for Persons with Disabilities

The President put it best when he said, “Americans with disabilities are Americans first and foremost, and like all Americans are entitled to not only full participation in our society, but also full opportunity in our society.” And, the truth is that Americans with disabilities can’t fully participate and will not have the full opportunity to do so unless they have access to the technology that is so critical to that participation and those opportunities. That’s why, at the President’s direction, his Administration has focused on enhancing our commitment to Section 508 of the Rehabilitation Act, so that Americans outside the government can access information about their government and those working inside the government can be productive employees.

Over the past few years, we have taken several affirmative steps regarding Section 508. For the first time, the Chief Information Officer Council and the Chief Acquisition Officer Council now jointly chair the Chief Information Officers Accessibility Committee. Following that creation, in July 2010, OMB issued a memorandum, Improving the Accessibility of Government Information to set forth additional steps. This memo focused on (1) increasing awareness of responsibilities and requirements associated with Section 508, (2) improving agency accountability and accessibility performance, and (3) improving outreach and communication. It also included a requirement to host listening sessions with the community across the nation to gather input on Federal implementation of Section 508.

Recognizing that we still needed to do more, in July 2011, the President announced an effort to develop a strategic plan for Section 508 and the intent to share the strategy with the public. To support development of this plan, senior officials and staff from across the Executive Office of the President have met with advocacy groups, Section 508 coordinators, the CIOC Accessibility Committee, the Access Board, the General Services Administration, and other key stakeholders inside and outside the government. We have taken the information from the listening sessions as well as all the input received through various stakeholder meetings and pulled together a framework for the next phase in our efforts to improve Section 508 management.

That’s where you come in. Before proceeding further with development of the strategic plan, we are seeking your input and expertise. Taking into account ideas from all the stakeholders we’ve met with so far, we posted a strategy document at http://section508.ideascale.com. It includes high level objectives, initiatives, focus areas, and potential measures. We’re looking for you to comment on what has been proposed, but also for you to propose broad management strategies, tactics, and actions that can ultimately help Federal agencies better comply with Section 508.

Whether we are working to achieve the goals of the President’s disability Executive Order, ensuring that people with disabilities have access to services during disasters, improving transportation services or so many other efforts, technology plays a critical role in our success. People with disabilities should be able to access their government on an equal footing with all Americans. With this strategy and your input, we take one more step toward achieving that goal.

Kareem Dale is Special Assistant to the President for Disability Policy, Lesley A. Field is the Acting Administrator for Federal Procurement Policy, and Steven VanRoekel is the Federal Chief Information Officer and E-Gov Administrator in the Office of E-Government and Information Technology.

Source: The White House Office of Public Engagement (http://www.whitehouse.gov)


ADVERTISEMENT: Registration is NOW OPEN - join us in Orlando, Florida on October 1-4, 2012! - (http://www.usblnannualconference.org/)
ADVERTISEMENT: DiversityInc.com - (http://www.diversityinc.com/diversityinc-free-newsletter-subscription/)


Be a Hero - Hire a Hero Chooses Bartech to Connect Disabled Veterans with Job Opportunities

LIVONIA, MICHIGAN - Bartech, a leader in global contingent workforce management solutions, today proudly announced its partnership with Be a Hero - Hire a Hero, a division of Hire Disability Solutions (Hire DS), USBLN® Certified Disability-owned Business Enterprise (DOBE®). The new alliance is designed to connect veterans with more job opportunities, helping them find meaningful employment.

Through this partnership, Bartech will raise visibility for the viable employment opportunities to the individuals represented by Hire DS. Bartech will do this by sharing specific customer contract job opportunities through its Managed Service Provider (MSP) solutions. In turn, Hire DS will offer Bartech its qualified candidates to fill those open positions.

"Our relationship with Hire DS presents an amazing opportunity to leverage our strengths and resources to help provide greater opportunities for our disabled veterans," said David Barfield, Bartech Chief Operating Officer. "Our military servicemen and women have made great sacrifices for us, and this is one small way to thank them and help them succeed in their civilian lives. We are grateful for their service and we look forward to using this partnership to connect them with valuable job opportunities."

About Bartech
Bartech is an industry-leading professional services firm delivering contingent workforce and enterprise staffing solutions to Global 1000 firms. Managing more than 25,000 daily work assignments and $2 billion in annualized spend, Bartech helps clients improve their market position through greater efficiency, transparency and reduced operational risks. With a 35 year proven track record, Bartech continues to receive top industry recognition for its global solutions. Learn more at www.bartechgroup.com.

About Hire DS
Hire Disability Solutions is a national leader in recruiting the best and brightest people for visionary companies. A full-service consulting and staffing firm, we simplify the hiring process through alliances with the right organizations, people, and technology.

The mission of Hire Disability Solutions is to give all that want a chance to succeed, the opportunity to succeed. Hire Disability Solutions was founded in response to the increasing demand for services for individuals with disabilities. Additionally, we aim to promote inclusion into the mainstream employment world. Since its inception in 2004, Hire Disability Solutions has established itself as a national leader in protecting and enhancing employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Through its educational campaigns surrounding employment law, education opportunities, and assistive technology, the company facilitates the success of individuals with disabilities and employers alike.

Source: Be a Hero - Hire a Hero, a division of Hire Disability Solutions (Hire DS) (http://www.beahero-hireahero.com/)


Disability Community News Corner - Upcoming Events

Source: Submissions provided to the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®) (www.usbln.org)


Employer Assistance & Resource Network (EARN)

The USBLN® is a partner in a cooperative agreement awarded to Cornell University's Employment and Disability Institute, School of Industrial and Labor Relations to establish a National Technical Assistance Center for employers on employment of people with disabilities. Funded by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), the purpose of the Center is to conduct innovative research, assist ODEP in developing demand-side policy, and share best practices with employers on the recruitment, hiring, retention and advancement of people with disabilities. To link with the National Technical Assistance Center, go to http://askearn.org.

Monthly EARNWorks Employer Newsletters: http://askearn.org/

Source: Employer Assistance & Resource Network (EARN)


ADVERTISEMENT: The U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP) - (www.dol.gov/odep)
ADVERTISEMENT: Workforce Recruitment Program (WRP) - (www.wrp.gov)


Job Accommodation Network (JAN) Releases Fact Sheet "Start with JAN: Resources for Small Businesses"

This fact sheet provides links and resources related to job accommodations and the Americans with Disabilities Act for small businesses.

JAN is a free consulting service designed to increase the employability of people with disabilities by: 1) providing individualized worksite accommodations solutions, 2) providing technical assistance regarding the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and other disability related legislation, and 3) educating callers about self-employment options.

For more information, please contact:

Job Accommodation Network
(800)526-7234 (V)
(877)781-9403 (TTY)
jan@askjan.org
http://AskJAN.org

Source: Job Accommodation Network (JAN) (http://AskJAN.org))


Call for Disability-Owned Businesses

The USBLN® is pleased to announce the launch of the Disability Supplier Diversity ProgramSM®! This program offers businesses that are owned by an individual(s) with a disability, including service disabled veterans, an exciting opportunity to increase their access to potential contracting opportunities with major corporations, government agencies, and one another. If you or someone you know is a business owner with a disability, and would like to learn more about how to get Disability- Owned Business Enterprise Certification through this program, please contact Patricia J. Richards, DSDP Director at pjrichards81904@yahoo.com or (713) 304-8950.

Source: US Business Leadership Network


ADVERTISEMENT: Walmart (http://www.walmartstores.com/diversity/)
ADVERTISEMENT: Job Accommodation Network (JAN) - (http://www.askjan.org/)


USBLN® Annual Conference Partners

The USBLN® is pleased to recognize its partners and their generous support.

Emerald Partners:

Sapphire Partners:

Ruby Partners:

Topaz Partners:

USBLN® Annual Conference Partnership Opportunities

The USBLN® Annual Conference is the preeminent national event that taps into the vast economic potential of fully including people with disabilities. In addition to participating in educational and networking opportunities that advance the inclusion of individuals with disabilities, our conference partners receive recognition and benefits which further solidify their standing as leaders.

Several levels of Partnership opportunities are available and include Corporate Membership. Customized partnership opportunities are also available for government agencies, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. (DOC | PDF)

To learn more about our upcoming 2012 Annual Conference Partnership Opportunities, please contact Jill Houghton, USBLN® Executive Director at jill@usbln.org or 954.461.4726.


ADVERTISEMENT: Become a BLN Affiliate - Learn more online at http://www.usbln.org/affiliates.html


Become a BLN Affiliate

The BLN is an educational organization. Members engage in networking discussions to increase their knowledge of community outreach, recruiting and interviewing, the accommodation process and barriers to employment. By participating in a business to business dialog, employers learn how to leverage their organizations for success. Being a part of the BLN sends a message to the community that the business is committed to including people with disabilities in the workforce. For more information on becoming a BLN Affiliate, please contact Lynn Kirkbride, Director of Affiliate Relations at (307) 631-0894 or lynn@usbln.org.

Source: US Business Leadership Network


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