Aerial View of Washington DC
DC Metro BLN News - June 2019
DC Metro Business Leadership Announces New Officers and Board Members
We are pleased to announce the addition of two new members to the DC Metro BLN Board: Jamel Walker, Senior Principal EEO and Diversity, Northrop Grumman and Anjali Desai-Margolin, Career Consultant, Academic and Career Success Unit, Gallaudet University.

As members of the DC Metro BLN, they will provide strategic guidance and support to help advance the organization’s mission of “Building the Business Network for Disability Inclusion.”

At the annual DC Metro BLN Board Meeting, held on May 21, 2019 at Northrop Grumman, the following individuals were elected.
Andrea Hall
Andrea Hall, Chair
Diversity & Inclusion Sr. Manager  - General Dynamics Mission Systems
Sophie Howard
Sophie Howard, Vice Chair
HR Director, Workforce Relations General Dynamics IT
Chrisonna Palmer
Chrisonna Palmer, Secretary
Assistant Director, Markets and Business Development - EY
Ellen de Bremond
Ellen de Bremond, Treasurer
Board Members:
  • Jennifer Bassett, JBG SMITH Companies
  • Michelle Crabtree, Hyatt
  • Anjali Desai-Margolin, Gallaudet University
  • Tom Downs, Gartner
  • Dan Ellerman, Accenture
  • Charlesiah Mclean, Leidos
  • Eduardo Meza-Etienne, eSSENTIAL Accessibility
  • Carrie Schroeder, PwC
  • Jamel Walker, Northrop Grumman
  • Myra Wilder, Marriott
  • Emily Yee, Deloitte
Advisory Board Members:
  • Meghan Cadigan, KPMG
  • Ron Drach, Drach Consulting, LLC
  • Rikki Epstein, The Arc of Northern VA
  • Sylvia Henri-Wonasue, Lockheed Martin
  • Karen Herson, Concepts Communication
  • Bryan Moseley, TCS Associates
  • Rick Rodgers, The Resource Network*
  • Kia Silver-Hodge, C5 Consulting, LLC*
  • Bob Vetere, C5 Consulting, LLC*
  • Sue Werber, C5 Consulting, LLC*

CEO/Executive Director :
  • The Honorable Katherine McCary, President, C5 Consulting, LLC*

*Certified DOBE
DC Metro BLN Membership Update and Programs
Katherine McCary presenting in front of an audience.
New Annual Membership Benefits

Effective August 1st members receive free program passes based on the level of membership.

Corporate: $2,000
Two Attendee passes per program
Additional Attendees $65

Gold: $3,000
Three Attendee passes per program
Additional Attendees $65

Diamond: $5,000
Five Attendee passes per program
Additional Attendees $65

Platinum: $10,000
Unlimited Attendee passes per program

Non-Profit: $750
One Attendee pass per program
Additional Attendees $35

Small Business: $800
One Attendee pass per program
Additional Attendees $45

Non-Member Program Fees: $115
Guest: $65
8th Annual Veteran Symposium: Investing for Retention and Success

June 13, 2019 - 8:30 am to 12:30 pm

General Dynamics
2941 Fairview Park Drive, Suite 100
Falls Church, VA 22041-4153

Speakers include:
La Nette Rutledge
Le Nette Rutledge
Military Talent Programs Manager
Wells Fargo
Eric Eversole
Eric Eversole
Vice President, US Chamber of Commerce
President, Hiring our Heroes
Timothy Green
Tim Green
Veterans’ Employment and Training Service
US Department of Labo r
Thanks to our 2018 Gala Sponsors
Booz Allen Hamilton. Strategy and technology consultants.
eSSENTIAL Accessibility
Herson Family Vineyards.
Lockheed Martin.
Northrop Grumman.
The Sierra Group. Disability & Employment Leaders.
TCS Associates
TCS Interpreting
IN THE NEWS - Articles of Interest
U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Janet Dhillon Becomes Chair of the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission
Janet Dhillon
Janet Dhillon was recently sworn in as the Chair of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) by Acting Chair Victoria A. Lipnic. She will serve as the 16 th  Chair of the EEOC. Dhillon was first nominated by President Donald J. Trump on June 29, 2017 and confirmed on May 8, 2019. Her term will end on July 1, 2022.

Dhillon practiced law in the private sector for over 25 years. Prior to joining the EEOC, Dhillon served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of Burlington Stores, Inc. Previously, Ms. Dhillon served as Executive Vice President, General Counsel and Corporate Secretary of JC Penney Company, Inc., and before that, as Senior Vice President, General Counsel and Chief Compliance Officer of US Airways Group, Inc.

“In the more than 50 years since the EEOC was founded, the country has made great strides toward achieving the goal of equal opportunity in the workplace,” said Dhillon. “Yet, unfortunately, the goal of a nondiscriminatory workplace has not been fully achieved. Notwithstanding the tremendous efforts of many, including those here at the EEOC, there continues to be unlawful discrimination in the workplace. This discrimination is illegal, economically counterproductive, and corrosive to the very fabric of our society.”

Dhillon began her legal career at the law firm of Skadden, Arps, Slate, Meagher & Flom LLP, where she practiced for 13 years. She is a graduate of Occidental College, magna cum laude, and the UCLA School of Law, where she ranked first in her class. A native of California, Dhillon currently lives in Virginia.

Dhillon joins Commissioners Victoria A. Lipnic, who has served as Acting Chair since January 2017, and Charlotte Burrows. With her swearing-in, the Commission regains a quorum that it lost on January 3.

The EEOC advances opportunity in the workplace by enforcing federal laws prohibiting employment discrimination. More information is available at . Stay connected with the latest EEOC news by subscribing to our  email updates .
Investing in Disability Inclusion
Investor Group Representing $1 Trillion call for Workplace Disability Inclusion

On Monday, May 20th, a group of 15 of the nation's leading institutional investors, representing a trillion dollars in assets, have released a  joint statement on corporate disability inclusion   to call on companies they invest in to make disability inclusion a top priority. 
This is the first time a coalition of investors have joined forces on the topic of corporate disability inclusion.

Many disability community organizations, including members of the National Disability Leadership Alliance, AAPD, and Disability:IN have signed in support of the investor group.   Full press release and list of supporting disability organizations can be accessed here .
Worker at Amazon warehouse.
Wilson Yu — one of scores of people who have found work with Amazon through an arrangement with a disability service provider — fills an Amazon Prime order at a warehouse in Seattle. Last month several big investors joined together to encourage companies to increase employment of people with disabilities. 
ADA 29 1990 - 2019 Americans with Disabilities Act. Celebrate the ADA
Ideas for Celebrating the 29th ADA Anniversary
How will you celebrate the ADA? Below are some ideas and suggestions to celebrate throughout the year the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and the ADA Anniversary - July 26 in your workplaces, schools and communities.

Accessibility & Program Access
  • Appoint an ADA Coordinator.
  • Re-evaluate and update existing transition plans.
  • Survey websites for accessibility and prioritize web pages to be updated based on use and content.
  • Create focus groups/panels of people with disabilities to provide feedback on accessibility and program access issues.
  • Assess pedestrian access and identify need areas.
  • Commit to providing playgrounds that meet ADA compliance guidelines.
  • Provide effective communication such as interpreters at all large events or public meetings.

Training/Technical Assistance
  • Send staff to ADA related workshops and conferences such as the National ADA Symposium.
  • Utilize the ADA National Network for training and technical assistance. 1-800-949-4232
  • Participate in on-line courses, audio-conferences, and podcasts.
  • Conduct in-house training on ADA issues on a regular basis.

Disability Awareness Events
  • Host a wheelchair game or races.
  • Exhibit works by artists with disabilities.
  • Sponsor a disability awareness poster contest.
  • Demonstrate the use of assistive devices at a community event.
  • Host an online or in-person discussion. Ask questions such as: What impact has the ADA had on your life? What would be different about your life if we did not have the ADA?
Employer Assistance and Resource Network on Disability Inclusion Advancing Workforce Diversity
The Case for Disability-Inclusive Leadership
A recent report published by Lisa B. Baird and Victoria S. Reese from executive search firm Heidrick & Struggles explores the case for inclusion of people with disabilities in not only a company’s workforce, but also its leadership. The main takeaway? “By recognizing the unique challenges faced by leaders with disabilities, organizations can build more comprehensive diversity policies to create an inclusive environment for all employees.”   Read the report .
Melwood Your Path Awaits
Melwood Graduates Inaugural abil IT  Class Training People of Differing Abilities for Jobs in Cybersecurity and IT 
Melwood graduates from the first abilIT Class Training
The inaugural class of Melwood’s revolutionary program, abil IT,  recently graduated and along with the CompTIA certifications they earned or are working towards, they are well on their way to new careers and previously unthought-of opportunities. The class was created by Melwood to effectively solve two problems: the underemployment of people of differing abilities and the inability to fill the approximately 350,000 unfilled tech jobs, according to the U.S. Dept. of Commerce.

abil IT  is designed to help people of differing abilities and injured veterans enter the in-demand fields of IT and cybersecurity. In partnership with Cybrary, this 14-week training program consists of technical training as well as the professional and personal development training that have been the cornerstone of Melwood’s 55-year long success of helping people of differing abilities gain and retain employment. The program is designed to ensure that participants are equipped with both the technical know-how and the soft skills necessary to join and succeed on any project team.
Study after study show that employers who hire people of differing abilities benefit from increased employee engagement, reduced turnover, and improved attendance rates. Many people on the autism spectrum have unique abilities that could be an advantage for this type of work. These abilities include: visual and systematic thinking, meticulous attention to detail, and an affinity for repetitive tasks.
Not only did participants from the inaugural class pass, or are on their way to passing their necessary exams, all have said they feel more confident in their interpersonal skills and more prepared to interview for jobs in the cybersecurity and IT arena.

If you are interested in learning more or sharing this new initiative with prospective employers, funders, or applicants, please visit Melwood abilIT
National Business and Disability Council at The Viscardi Center
Getting C-Suite Buy-in for Disability Inclusion Webinar

Thursday, June 13 at 1:00 PM ET

Have your organization's C-Suite executives bought into disability inclusion? If not, the National Business & Disability Council (NBDC) at The Viscardi Center is ready to provide you with insights to strengthen your organization's business case.

Join NBDC for the "Getting C-Suite Buy-In for Disability Inclusion" webinar presented by Carmen Daniels Jones, NBDC Consultant and President of the Solutions Marketing Group.

During this session, participants will learn:
  • What's important for executives to know about the disability market
  • Ways to overcome barriers that impede disability inclusion
  • Elements of the disability inclusion business case
  • How to support executives, so they can effectively communicate about disability inclusion throughout the enterprise
  • Methods to identify the departments that need to support executives
  • How to measure the impact of disability inclusion
Register to the NBDC webinar today!  For questions, contact Scott Wright at  or by phone at 516-465-3748.

ADA National Symposium
June 16, 2019 8:00am EDT to June 19, 2019 5:00pm EDT
Mid-Atlantic ADA Center
Gaylord Hotel
Dallas - Grapevine, Texas

The National ADA Symposium is the premier conference on the Americans with Disabilities Act. Over the past 20 years, the Symposium has earned the reputation as the most comprehensive training event available on the ADA and disability related laws.
The National ADA Symposium provides the latest information on ADA regulations and guidelines, implementation strategies, and best practices. The Symposium offers a range of sessions to meet the diverse needs of attendees, from presentations covering basic content for novices to dynamic, interactive sessions designed specifically for attendees with years of experience and ADA expertise.
The National ADA Symposium is a project of the ADA National Network (ADANN). ADANN is made up of ten regional centers that provide information, guidance and training on how to implement the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in order to support the mission of the ADA to “assure equality of opportunity, full participation, independent living, and economic self-sufficiency for individuals with disabilities.”
Getting Hired Allegis Global Solutions Aetna Pfizer
Webinar: Top Challenges Veteran Employees and Jobseekers Face
Wednesday, July 24th, 2019 1:00 – 2:00 p.m. EST

Do you want to learn how to effectively recruit and hire veteran talent? Come learn from our panel of veteran professionals as they share best practices and answer your questions. You will learn:

  • Truths surrounding the veteran turn over rate
  • Best practices on supporting reservists on your staff
  • Ways your company can assist veterans in the transition process

In for INclusion
Aerial view of downtown Chicago

2019 Disability:IN Annual Conference and Expo

July 15 - 18, 2018
Chicago Marriott Downtown Magnificent Mile

Engage with Industry Peers on Disability Inclusion

What to Expect
More than fifteen hundred attendees
More than ten countries represented at the conference
Two hundred Nextgen STEM Leaders ready for hire
Eighty educational sessions
2019 NextGen Leaders
Nextgen leaders composition infographic
Shifting Gears in a Fast-Changing World.


Shifting Gears in a Fast-Changing World

July 30 through August 2, 2019

The theme of this year’s conference is “Shifting Gears in a Fast-Changing World.” The conference will be held in Milwaukee, Wisconsin, from July 30 through August 2, 2019. We will be looking for new and innovative presentations that recognize the many changes that practitioners in the EEO/AA field and that workers in general are facing. The RFP will provide you with some possible topics for the conference, but we welcome different, creative ideas that will be of value to conference attendees.

Director of OFCCP Craig Leen and Acting Chair of the EEOC Victoria Lipnic have confirmed their attendance at the 2019 NILG Conference in Milwaukee! 
At last year’s conference, Director Leen spoke at length about the OFCCP’s top priorities, outlining his goals for the agency in the coming year and gave contractors a preview of the many transformative changes we saw in 2018.

In 2018, the EEOC saw sexual harassment filings jump by 12% - the first increase in at least eight years. Expect Acting Chair Victoria Lipnic to address this topic and more at the conference.
Don’t miss your chance to hear cutting edge agency developments from these two influential leaders!

Save the Date: 
Thursday, October 10, 2019

Where and When : The Forum will take place on Georgetown University’s main campus in Washington, D.C. at the McDonough School of Business (Hariri Building) on October 10, 2019.

Offered annually during National Disability Employment Awareness Month, the Forum has highlighted leading businesses and service providers including Walgreens, Bank of America, EY, Starbucks and Marriott Foundation for People with Disabilities.

In 2019, the program includes expanded content for business leaders who are new to employing PWDs and who want to learn best practices and develop relationships with key leaders in the PWD employment community. Award-winning social entrepreneur Caroline Casey will keynote the event this year.

Sessions run from 9.00 AM – 5.30 PM followed by a reception. To reserve your spot, contact GSEI Project Manager Lauren Gilbert ( ).
RIT. National Technical Institute for the Deaf.
Save the Date: 
Wednesday, October 16, 2019
As you make your employee recruitment plans for 2019, the NTID Center on Employment (NCE) invites you to join us for the 19 th  annual Career Fair, Wednesday, October 16.

Registration opens in the spring and NCE will reach out with more information as the registration date approaches.
If you’re looking to:

  • Diversify your workforce.
  • Learn how to become an advocate for accessibility
  • Meet like-minded professionals in a new and exciting environment

The RIT/NTID career fair will help you meet your goals.
A record 54 companies, including Lockheed Martin, Caterpillar, Merck, NAVSEA, Texas Instruments, the CIA and Prudential Financial participated in the 2018 fair.

November 13 - 15, 2019
Philadelphia, Pennsylvania

The 2019 Mid-Atlantic ADA Update will provide a wide range of up-to-date information on ADA regulations and guidelines, as well as strategies and best practices for successful implementation of the law. Conference speakers will include subject-matter experts from federal, state, and local government agencies, businesses, non-profit organizations, and universities. The ADA Update will offer opportunities to network with other professionals with similar interests and concerns. Professional development hours from several accreditation organizations will also be available.

About Us
The DC Metro Business Leadership Network is an employer led non-profit that uses a business-to business model offering education, training programs and resources to change attitudes and address concerns of businesses so that they learn how to proactively include people with disabilities in the workforce, marketplace and supplier diversity.