DC Metro Business Leadership Network 

Monthly Newsletter: July 2018

NEXTGEN DISABILITY INCLUSION USBLN LAS VEGAS - July 9 - 12, 2018 Annual Conference and Expo


We are looking forward to seeing many of our DC Metro BLN members in Las Vegas on July 9th at the 2018 USBLN Annual Conference!   DOWNLOAD THE USBLN APP so we can meet up during the conference! It's all about the NETWORK! Take a look at the conference checklist at the bottom of the newsletter.

We will be passing the baton as 2017 Affiliate of the Year to the 2018  winner and provide an update in the August news for all!

Katherine McCary

Katherine McCary

CEO and Executive Director

DC Metro BLN 

President, C5 Consulting, LLC

Learn more about C5's Disability Inclusion IQ E-learning modules and the new Leadership Course for Employees with Disabilities 

A note from Jill Houghton, USBLN President and CEO

Dear friends and colleagues,

We are a few days out from the 2018 USBLN Annual Conference & Expo and we are officially SOLD OUT! If you didn't get a chance to register, we are activating a waiting list on the Conference registration website. I'm excited to spend a few days with you in sunny Las Vegas. As always, I anticipate it will be a great learning experience and an opportunity to meet new colleagues and friends.  I'm especially excited as we'll be revealing our new brand during the Opening Plenary! If we don't have the fortune of seeing you at our Conference, please check online on social media or our website to find out our big reveal. 


Jill Houghton's signature

Jill Houghton

President and CEO, USBLN

2018 GALA

October 25, 2018


Buy Tickets - Become a Sponsor

1775 Tysons Boulevard, Tysons Corner, VA


Thank you

Northrop Grumman



audioeye  Concepts - Passion, Creativity, Results


eSSENTIAL Accessibility EY Building a better working world

Gallaudet University General Dynamics

JBG Smith

Lockheed MartinNorthrop Grumman

In-Kind Sponsors

Herson Family Vineyards TCS Interpreting TCS Associates

Table of Contents

DC Metro BLN Events


Strategies for Increased Retention and Productivity:

Supporting Caregiver Employees at Work

August  15, 2018                                        8:30am -12:00pm

Hosted By

1800 Tysons Blvd, McLean, VA 22102


Attend in person or virtually!

John A. Schall, M.P.P.


Join us as PwC hosts us for the very first time and shares their efforts to support their employee caregivers in the workforce. Our keynote, John Schall, Chief Executive Officer of Caregiver Action Network, and its program ACE, Assisting Caregiver Employees, returns to our programming to share updates from the Caregiver Action Network, as well as new trends in employer practices that encourage retention and employee satisfaction.  Over 22 million Americans are working family caregivers – that is one out of five workers. The costs of caregiving to business and industry exceed over $50 billion annually. That is why Caregiver Action Network, in collaboration with Partners on the Path, developed ACE - Assisting Caregiving Employees - to help employers support employees to better manage their caregiving responsibilities.

Disability Entrepreneurship Network 

NEXGEN: Transforming Disability Inclusion for Entrepreneur Success 

Powered by DC Metro BLN and Deaf Entrepreneurship Network

DEN - Deaf Entrepreneur Network             

Gallaudet University

September 20-22, 2018

Attention Aspiring Entrepreneurs! Diversity Procurement Professionals!


You are invited to attend the 2018 Disability Entrepreneurship Network Convention. All entrepreneurs, including Deaf and hard of hearing entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs with other disabilities, as well as corporate representatives involved in supplier diversity are encouraged to attend! 

We are excited to announce the first ever 2018 Disability Entrepreneurship Network Convention hosted jointly by Deaf Entrepreneurship Network (DEN) and DC Metro Business Leadership Network (DC Metro BLN). 

These groups came together recognizing the enormous need from both deaf entrepreneurs and entrepreneurs with disabilities for mentoring and guidance, sharing success stories and making connections with businesses who are eager to engage with this diverse business community and procure their goods and services. 

The convention will provide a series of workshops and opportunities to network and learn from each other. In addition, the convention includes:

  • Keynote speakers

  • Exhibit opportunities for vendors, entrepreneurs and sponsors

  • Roundtables

  • Networking Reception

  • Dinner Reception

Who should attend??

If you ARE aspiring or established entrepreneurs or representative from corporate procurement, diversity and inclusion professionals, or the disability community at large. Then this is a great opportunity for YOU to connect with a diverse community of entrepreneurs from the DMV area and nationwide. 

More information on www.GoDEN.org.

For Sponsorship details or more information, contact michael@GoDEN.org         

If you work in supplier diversity or are a company owned by a person with a disability, you won't want to miss this event!  

Interested in presenting? Contact us!

Committee Co-Chairs

                   Fannie MaeThe Resource Network



Level  Annual Fee  Program Registration
 Platinum  $10,000 No Program Fees 
 Diamond  $5,000 $65 
 Gold  $3,000 $65 
 Corporate  $1,500 $65 
 Non-Profit  $750 $65 
 Small Business  $750 $65 
 Individual  $200 $65 
 Individual/SHRM  $175 $65 
 Student  $50 $30 

  • Virtual Program Registration (As Available):           $45
  • Webinar Attendee:                                                   $25
  • Webinar Attendee - Member :                                 $15
  • Non-Member Program Fee:                                  $125

Not a Member? Become One Today! 

Open Membership offers 12 months of benefits and supports our mission.

DC Metro BLN Board News

News From Our Advisory Board Member
The Arc of Northern Virginia

After a careful vetting process, the Catalogue for Philanthropy: Greater Washington has selected The Arc of Northern Virginia to be part of the Class of 2018-19. The Catalogue believes in the power of small nonprofits to spark big change.  As the only locally-focused guide to giving, its goal is to create visibility for the best community-based charities, fuel their growth with philanthropic dollars, and create a movement for social good in the greater Washington region. 

“People want to know where to give and they need trusted information. Based on our in-depth review, we believe that The Arc of Northern Virginia is one of the best community-based nonprofits in the region,” says Bob Wittig, Executive Director of the Catalogue for Philanthropy.

The Arc of Northern Virginia has undergone a rigorous review process conducted by a team of 120+ experts in the local philanthropic field, and has met the Catalogue’s high standards. This year, reviewers helped select 77 charities to feature in the print edition, and an additional 49 nonprofits to be re-featured on its website. The network now includes 400+ vetted nonprofits working in the arts, education, environment, and human services sectors throughout Greater Washington.

DC Metro BLN 7th Annual Wounded Warrior SymposiumReport Out

Ron Drach
Ron Drach, Drach Consulting  
Chair, Wounded Warrior Committee 

If you attended the 7th Annual Wounded Warrior Symposium on June 27th thanks for attending. If you did not you missed an excellent program replete with good and timely information. If you want a copy of the slide deck please let me know at consultrwd@yahoo.com and I will send it.

I want to thank Leidos and their staff members who worked extremely hard to make this Symposium the great success it was. Of course, Katherine’s leadership was immeasurable. We had the honor of being welcomed by Jermon Bafaty  who serves as the Vice President of Capture and Growth Initiatives for Leidos Health.

Alex Verhulst from Leidos provided an overview of their Operation MVP (Operation Military Veteran Outreach Program) Operation MVP is Leidos’ official Military Veteran Outreach Program.

“Our mission is to build veteran talent pipelines and increase our presence as a preferred employer for transitioning military candidates. By assisting transitioning service members in their job search, we help build our employer brand within the veteran community, and increase our available qualified talent. Through this program, we partner with military transition centers, military associations, and veteran organizations in an effort to identify and hire separating and retiring military veterans. We recruit from all branches of the military, as well as National Guard and Reserve members. Leidos and the Operation MVP team participate in specific career development and networking events geared towards the veteran and military dependent / caregiver population. We stay actively engaged with military transition offices, department of labor representatives, as well as veteran non-profit and membership organizations.”

Tim Principe from Leidos’ Military Alliance Group (MAG) reported they recently sponsored a Symposium on PTSD in the workplace and are providing ongoing support to Hire our Heroes, adaptive sports and the Marine Corps “trials” (a prelude to the Warrior Games). Here is an overview of the MAG:

“The MAG provides a supportive, collaborative environment and a resource for employees currently deployed as Reserve or National Guard called to active duty, military veterans, families, and supporters, as well as external veteran service organizations. The MAG provides a forum for opportunities to serve and volunteer, advocates for and supports deployed, wounded, or disabled service members, and recognizes the sacrifices of veterans, Active Duty military, reservists, and the National Guard. Provides resources to share with transitioning military, enhance veteran recruitment/outreach efforts, and help onboard veteran employees. The MAG is open to all employees who have an interest in supporting our mission MILITARY”

Ross Koenig of Virginia Values Veterans (V3) provided an overview of their program as follows:

“The V3 Story · Virginia fastest growing Veteran labor force in the nation · The Commonwealth recognizes its unique position to be the most Veteran friendly state in the nation · Dec 23rd , 2010, Governor McDonnell issues Executive Order 29, directing DVS to “identify the resources necessary to create … a program to develop employment opportunities for Veterans.” · The Department of Veterans Services (DVS) partners with Federal, state agencies and the private sector to create the V3 program · June 12, 2012, first V3 conference held with 50 companies · March 2013, Virginia General Assembly codified the V3 program · By July 2015, 300 companies V3 certified, pledges of 12,000 hires and 10,000 actual hires · In January 2018, Governor Northam continues firm commitment to the program and has publicly expressed his desire to have 60,000 Veteran hires before he leaves office in 2022”

The Employer Panel discussed their various initiatives and as always was very informative.

Andrea Hall, DXC discussed their initiative to encourage their veterans to self-identify. They did a “warm and fuzzy” outreach to 27,000 employees asking what DXC is doing “right or wrong” They received 10,000 responses and increased their percentage of veterans who self-identified from 3% to 9%. Their percentage of veterans with disabilities stayed about the same.

Ish Escobar, Northrop Grumman, discussed Operation Impact’s (OI) ongoing efforts to employ and retain wounded warriors. Some important issues identified by Ish include the identification of a career path, talk to veterans about their benefits including providing webinars about veterans’ benefits, their navigator program, an intranet website for veteran resources, a veterans newsletter and for those veterans who self-identify they receive a “coin”.

Tom Downs of Capital One discussed the value of their ERG and their “three pillars”. He stressed that engagement with their employees who were veterans is critical. They have developed their own skills translator (military skills translated to job skills at Capital One). They work closely with the Chamber of Commerce’s Hire our Heroes and Recruit Military programs.

Next came a lively and informative panel of wounded warriors Peter Torres, Capital One, Matt Sexton, Northrop Grumman.  Tim Principe, Leidos joined them.

Since I was moderating this panel I was unable to take notes. However, thanks to Ann Deschamps’ (TransCen) willingness to share her notes I am able to provide the following information:

  • Skills the military taught me that transfer to the workplace: leadership, commitment, ownership - sense of belonging (wanting to be part of the team), need to feel as though I am really contributing, dedication
  • Buy-in engenders loyalty
  • One of the best ways to transition successfully out of the military is networking - these skills are critical. Important to connect with former military members because they understand where you are from and what your strengths are
  • We need to educate new veterans on how to translate their military skills into private sector skills
  • It is critical that veterans be able to see a path forward - a career path forward - something to work towards and aspire to.
  • Autonomy, communication, and opportunity are key

About Drach Consulting,

Drach Consulting is a service disabled veteran owned firm that was established after a successful career that includes 28 years with the Disabled American Veterans (DAV) and more than 8 years with the U.S. Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (VETS).   Ron Drach, President of Drach Consulting has more than 50 years’ experience working on veteran’s issues including employment, affirmative action, vocational rehabilitation, homelessness, transitioning service members, and disability issues. Ron is available to provide consulting services on the issues mentioned above or other issues related to veterans, wounded warriors, or people with disabilities

NDEAM Reminder

2017 Poster

Inclusion drives innovation. National Disability Employment Awareness Month 2017.

For more information about NDEAM 2018, including specific ideas for how different types of organizations can participate, visit www.dol.gov/ndeam. The Department expects to make the official NDEAM poster available soon!

 Learn how your organization can observe NDEAM

In the News - Articles of Interest

Announcing the Dinah F. B. Cohen Fellowship Program

The National Disability Mentoring Coalition (NDMC), in partnership with the student-led organization, Disability Rights, Education, Activism and Mentoring (DREAM) at the National Center for College Students with Disabilities (NCCSD), is pleased to announce the establishment of the Dinah F. B. Cohen Fellowship Program in honor of the late Dinah Cohen, which will provide college students and recent graduates with disabilities with professional skills and leadership opportunities. Learn more via the below post about this new Fellowship Program to launch in Fall 2018. The program will center youth voice in the disability and inclusive mentoring movements. #DisabilityMentors #DisabilityInclusion #Mentoring #Legacy

ILO Global Business and Disability Network.

International Labor Organization (ILO) Global Business and Disability Network and USCIB 2nd Annual Conference in DC hosted by IBM

By Debra Ruh, CEO, Ruh Global Communications

The United Nations (UN), International Labor Organization (ILO), Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) and the USCIB held their 2nd Annual Conference on June 26th in Washington, DC. The ILO and USCIB co-hosted the meeting with major U.S. based corporations talking about inclusion of persons with disabilities in their workforces.  IBM graciously hosted the meeting in their DC Offices.   The title of the conference was “Sustainable employment of persons with disabilities globally, 26 June 2018, Washington DC."

We celebrated two U.S. based Multi-National Corporations joining the ILO GBDN during the event. Congratulations to DXC Technology and Merck Sharp & Dohme (MSD) for their leadership.  Please see the following press release from the ILO announcing their membership. 


We had impressive and talented keynote speakers. Gary Sheinbaum, CEO of Tommy Hilfiger and Ruoyi Zhou, Director of Accessibility Research at IBM. We also had speakers from Accenture, AT&T, BHDP, Blackboard, DXC Technology, E&Y,IBM, ILO, JAN, Merck, Northrop, NBDC, Royal Caribbean, Ruh GlobalCommunications, Scotia Bank, USCIB, US State Department, WPI, and others.  The event was live streamed and is available on www.businessanddisability.org

It was exciting to watch these billion dollar brands talk about their efforts.  These brands need a place that is safe to learn from other brands and share successes, fears,and ideas. These brands are multi-national so having a global network to ask questions about disability employment and inclusion in other countries is an invaluable resource.

I have enjoyed collaborating with the International Labor Organization (ILO) to bring more US based multi-national companies into the Global Business and DisabilityNetwork (GBDN) over the past few years. Esteban (Stefan) Tromel’s leadership adds enormous value to the global conversation. 

It continues to be critical that US based multi-national corporations are an active part of the global conversations to accommodations, and with the full inclusion of persons with disabilities in our workforce, marketing, customer service, IT,products and services and as customers and clients are effectively communicated, dispersed and shared.

It has been interesting to watch the global landscape change with these conversations over the years.   U.S. corporations have been making efforts for years to include persons with disabilities fully as employees, clients, and as stakeholders.  The U.S. created our landmark legislation The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) in 1990.  The bottom line is that litigation has helped and hurt these efforts. The U.S. is one of the most accessible countries in the world. At the same time, the U.S. still has a lot of work to do with the inclusion of persons with disabilities in their workforce and customer base.

Many US based Multi-National Corporate Brands are committed to the Inclusion ofPersons with Disabilities in the United States. If that brand is a Global Brand, it is critical that they share their stories, journey, lessons learned and best practices.  Plus, these disability inclusion efforts and best practices should be implemented throughout your global footprint or it might appear that the Global Brand is only focusing on accessibility and disability inclusion in U.S. because of compliance, litigation and/or brand risks. 

I interviewed Yves Veulliet from IBM and Vice-Chair of the ILO GBDN on my program, "Human Potential at Work." Here is part of the interview and his comments are in “quotes."  You can listen to the entire interview here: https://www.ruhglobal.com/114-ibm-leading-the-global-conversation-on-disability-inclusion/

Yves Veulliet is a member of IBM’s global workforce diversity; his role is to drive IBM’s disability inclusion agenda and talking about the global business disability. Yves begins, “In 2015, IBM decided to sign the charter of the ILO GBDN and we became an active member of this great group of companies coming together to support the employment and the inclusion of people with disabilities around the world.  The ILO GBDN appointed me as the vice chair of this organization earlier this year to kind of relay the voice of the member companies that want to be an employer of choice for all talents in all countries where they operate.”

 IBM showed global leadership right from the beginning as a Charter Member of the ILO GBDN. They were one of the first global corporations to join the ILO GBDN and now, there are 27 multinational corporations that are part of it. 

“IBM joined ILO GBDN team because we needed to find the right partner having the appropriate global network to support our global disability inclusion strategy.  So, by becoming a member of the ILO GBDN and leverage these global networks, the international experiences of its company members across different sectors of activities. This is not only the association of companies, it’s about the value that all the different sector of activities that are represented as members of the ILO GBDN network. 

If you decide to join the ILO GBDN, you will get the basics right to secure the implementation of a successful disability inclusion and accessibility strategy.That is the main reason why we (IBM) decided to join this network. We needed to rely on a partner that has the global networks and the variety and diversity within this organization so that we can benefit from different perspectives around disability inclusion. The Corporate Members of the ILO GBDN work together to advance the global disability inclusion agenda because we share the same goals to advance disability inclusion. 

This is very important to IBM as the war for talent intensifies.  The nature of the workplace, these volatile times are creating uncertainty for many people and many businesses. It’s no longer obvious for companies to have a long lasting and stable policy or vision about the future of their business. And so, you need to attract more and more people having the appropriate skills or potential. You need to be able to adapt to this volatile market. And so, that’s why it’s even more important today than it was in the past to be inclusive and to be an 'employer of choice for all.'

Multi-NationalCorporations need to rely on local expertise, local NGOs, Disability Persons Organizations(DPOs) and local academies. You need to establish long lasting relationship with universities and high schools at country level. And who is the best positioned to help you?  The ILO GBDN local networks are wonderful partners for GBDN Corporate members because they know that country, the culture, the environment and the key players in the disability inclusion and accessibility fields.

So,the ILO GBDN has become the catalyst of all these different stakeholders.  Multi-National Corporations must work with different businesses, partners and vendors to successfully implement their global disability inclusion strategy. This cannot be a silo effort. It has been in the past and it does not work out. We need to be working together and we need the appropriate catalyst to really help us connecting the dots at country level if we want to be successful.”

Remember this story is not only for the community of persons with disabilities despite its size.  According to the World HealthOrganization (WHO), 1 in 7 individuals in the world has a disability.  Plus, according to National Organization onDisabilities (NOD), 1 in 5 people in theU.S. identify as having a disability under the definition of the ADA.  However, other people not impacted by disabilities also care about a company’s efforts.  The Millennial and Gen Z generations have clearly stated in various studies that they are willing to pay more money to do business with brands that have a positive social impact.

If you are a corporation in the United States that wants to join the global B2B conversation, please consider becoming a member of the ILO GBDN.  The U.S. needs to have our voices heard in these global conversations.  It is one way for the community of persons with disabilities to learn about your efforts.

For more information about the ILO Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) visit their website at www.businessanddisability.org. I have also included a little more data about the ILO GBDN below.

The ILO Global Business and Disability Network presents a unique platform for multinational enterprises to advance their commitments to workplace diversity as it relates to people with disabilities. Structured as a public-private partnership, the Network offers its business members with opportunities to engage with a range of stakeholders, including the ILO, UN agencies, employers’ organizations, governments, disabled people’s organizations, universities and the civil society.

Members include:

Accenture | Accor | Adecco | Atos | AXA | BNP Paribas | Capgemini | Carrefour | Casino Group | Dow Chemical Company | DXC Technology | ENGIE |Électricité de France (EDF) | IBM | L’Oréal |  Legrand | Merck | Michelin | Novartis | Orange | Repsol | Savola Group Société GénéraleGroup | Sodexo | Standard Bank | Standard Chartered Bank | Telenor | Total

Thanks to these global brands for their leadership and for their efforts to include the community of persons with disabilities. 

The ILO Global Business and Disability Network (GBDN) will hold its 5th annual meeting on Monday, 22 October 2018, at the ILO headquarters in Geneva, Switzerland. 

To learn more about Ruh Global Communications, please visit our website: www.RuhGlobal.com

SHRM - Society for Human Resource Management

Responding to an Employee's Serious Illness 

A recent article published by the Society for Human Resource Management (SHRM) explored the human resource (HR) professional’s role in responding to an employee’s disclosure of serious illness, such as cancer or heart disease, and how it differs from that of line managers. According to the article, it is important is to continuously emphasize HR’s value and position it as a resource for both managers and colleagues in crisis situations, which requires talking and listening in order to build strong, trusting relationships with both management and staff. Read the SHRM article.

Learn about SHRM’s disability initiatives.

E News: Volume 16, Issue 2, Second Quarter, 2018

The JAN E-News is a quarterly online newsletter. Its purpose is to keep subscribers informed about low-cost and innovative accommodation approaches; the latest trends in assistive technologies; announcements of upcoming JAN presentations, media events, trainings, and Webcasts; and legislative and policy updates promoting the employment success of people with disabilities.

    Mid-Atlantic ADA Center

    June 26, 2018 E-Bulletin is now posted.

    General News

    • "Why Are There So Few Disabled Architects and Architecture Students?"
    • "Deaf Prisoners Are Trapped in Frightening Isolation"
    • "Service Dogs Are Part of the Solution to Veteran Suicide"

    Employment News

    • "How to Navigate Common Concerns when Job Hunting with a Disability"
    • "No Need to Apologize: Navigating Work with a Disability"
    • "EEOC Scrutinizes Employer Policies Regarding Prescription Drug Use"

    Transportation News

    • A Transportation Guide for Persons Who Are Blind or Have Low Vision

    Education and Transition News

    • "Ed Department Reconsidering Previously Settled Disability Complaints"

    Health and Wellness News

    • Raising Public Awareness: The Link Between Diabetes and Heart Disease

    Technology News

    • W3C Issues Improved Accessibility Guidance for Websites and Applications

    Training, Events, and Opportunities to Participate

    • DOT Seeks Public Comment on ANPRM on Traveling by Air with Service Animals: Comments Due July 9
    • Workforce Recruitment Program Seeks Volunteers: Register by August 15
    • AbleData Seeks Information on Prototype, DIY, and Custom AT Products


    Hiring & Keeping the Best: 

    Creating Effective Talent Acquisition & Retention Processes

    Featuring DC Metro BLN Board Employers: Tamara Burks, PwC and Tom Downs, Capital One 

    Brett Sheats (Moderator), National Project Director, EARN

    The Honorable Katherine McCary, Temporary Policy Advisor, Employer Policy Team, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
    Michael Murray, Director, Employer Policy Team, U.S. Department of Labor Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP)
    Tom Downs, Senior Manager, Corporate Diversity and Inclusion, Capital One
    Vu H. Pham, Chair, Elevate, Center for Executive Development, University of California San Diego Rady School of Management
    Tamara Burks, Disability Talent Acquisition Lead, PwC

      Upcoming Events in the Area and Beyond 



      nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar Series

      Register for the nTIDE Lunch & Learn Webinar  

      Friday, July 6, 2018 at 12 Noon EST.

      Join us for our monthly webinar detailing findings of the latest Jobs Report release, announcements from the Disability Employment field, and a guest presentation by Kelly Nye-Lengerman, Research Associate at the Institute on Community Integration, Research and Training Center on Community Living, University of Minnesota. 

      • 12:00 pm: Overview of National Trends in Disability Employment (nTIDE) Jobs Report Release
        Andrew Houtenville, UNH Institute on Disability & John O'Neill, Kessler Foundation
      • 12:15 pm: News from the field of Disability Employment
        Denise Rozell, AUCD
      • 12:30 pm: Guest Panelists, Drs. Andrew Houtenville & Kimberly Phillips, UNH/IOD
      • 12:45 pm: Open Question & Answer period for attendees

      From Washington to Hollywood and Beyond. The Future of Americans with Disabilities. Respectability.

      From Washington to Hollywood and Beyond

      July 30, 2018                                                                              8:00 AM – 5:00 PM
      Rayburn Building, Capitol Hill, Washington, D.C.
      There is no charge to attend this event.

      Learn more

      Traveling from out of town? We have secured a room block at the Hyatt Regency Washington on Capitol Hill: 400 New Jersey Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20001. Reservations must be made by July 6, 2018 in order to receive the reduced rate: https://book.passkey.com/go/Respectability2018.

      Mid-Atlantic ADA Center

      25th Annual Mid-Atlantic ADA Update 

      September 4 - 6, 2018 

      Sheraton Tysons Hotel - Tysons, Virginia

      Early Bird Registration Ends July 31!  

      Vendor and Sponsor Opportunities Available!

      The Mid-Atlantic ADA Update offers a unique opportunity to promote your organization to our audience of architects, designers, code officials, ADA Coordinators, state and local government officials, business owners, human resource professionals, educators, service providers, and individuals with disabilities and their family members.  
      • Speakers from federal agencies including, U.S. Department of Justice, Equal Employment Opportunity Commission, U.S. Department of Transportation, and U.S. Access Board
      • Presentations by experts from state and local government, business, non-profit organizations and universities
      • Topical tracks on ADA issues in business, state and local government, healthcare, and corrections and law enforcement
      • Sessions on ADA and employment and general ADA issues
      • Multiple networking sessions 
      • Professional development hours available
      More information: ADAupdate.org

      Contact the Mid-Atlantic ADA Center at 301 217 0124 or ADAtraining@transcen.org for more information. 

      Career Fair

      Attendees to NTID Career Fair

      The National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID)

      18th Annual NTID Career Fair

      Wednesday, October 17, 2018

      Rochester, New York

      Come and meet excellent deaf and hard-of-hearing candidates for full-time and co-op/intern positions in: Business, Computing, Engineering & Science,Graphic Arts, and Liberal Arts.  For more information, call 585-475-6219 or check out our website:



      NEXTGEN Disability Inclusion. USBLN Las Vegas July 9-12, 2018 Annual Conference and Expo.

      2018 Annual Conference 


      Save This Important List

      After months of planning, we're thrilled to announce the 2018 USBLN Annual Conference and Expo is next week! We're looking forward to welcoming you, and hope the following information will help you prepare for memorable conference experience.

      See you soon,

      The USBLN team



      Name badges are picked-up at the Conference Registration Desk, located on the 4th floor of The Chelsea Tower in the Belmont Commons outside of the Belmont Ballroom.  

      For everyone's safety and security, conference name badges must be worn at all times. You will not be permitted entry to any meals without your name badge. Additionally, your name badge will include information about your seating assignment for Wednesday's Leadership Awards Dinner. 


      Put all the 2018 USBLN Conference details in the palm of your hand with the 2018 USBLN Conference mobile phone app. Download the app, USBLN 2018 Conference, by visiting the app store for iPhones and iPads or for Androids.  

      Special thanks to Microsoft for sponsoring the WiFi connection in our conference area. To access the internet during conference sessions, use Network: USBLN; Password: Microsoft18.


      The conference is business casual, and the Leadership Awards Dinner on Wednesday is black tie optional.  


      To help make this conference accessible to participants for whom chemicals or fragrances are an access barrier, the USBLN requests that you come fragrance free.


      You will receive an Expo Map at the entrance to the Expo. Make sure to have it stamped at each booth. A completely stamped Expo Map is your ticket for the Grand Prize drawing at Wednesday's Luncheon Plenary.


      If you have shipped a pop-up banner or other items to The Cosmopolitan for use during the conference, it can be picked up at the Business Center on the third floor. Please bring your tracking number and be prepared to pay for all handling fees. They can be charged to your room. 


      We appreciate your patience and understanding. While we did increase our conference room space, we have also exceeded maximum registration for the third year in a row. Our choice was to close registration early, or provide more companies the opportunity to learn how to increase disability inclusion. We decided on the latter. We anticipate many breakout session rooms as well as the plenary sessions will be very crowded, probably standing room only. We know this will be especially challenging for attendees with disabilities, and thank you for your support of our mutual goals.


      USBLN conference attendees who are blind or low vision can download the Aira app on their smartphone and use it to connect to a remote, sighted agent to access information on-demand.  Aira Agents can provide visual descriptions of surroundings and activities in and round the Las Vegas area, including McCarran Airport and The Cosmopolitan. On request, Aira agents can access websites, digital maps, rideshare apps, and other helpful resources on your behalf at the click of a button.  You can download the app at aira.io/app, register as a guest, and use Aira for ree in any Aira Access Location.  

      Tips for success:

      • It is highly recommended that users download the app before arriving in Las Vegas.
      • There is no cost to you, all calls are free.
      • This is a smartphone only experience, glasses are not provided. 
      • A wired or wireless headset is highly recommended. 
      • Aira Guest Access will be available in Las Vegas for the entire duration of the conference. 
      • Questions?  Send and email to kevin@aira.io


      Convenient valet and self-parking are available on-property 24 hours a day at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Parking fees apply as described below.

      All guests using valet parking will be subject to posted parking rates. For questions or additional information regarding parking at The Cosmopolitan, please EMAIL THEM or call 702.698.7000.


      • IDENTITY MEMBERS: Valet parking is complimentary for Gold status or higher, subject to availability. Must have Identity card present.
      • 0-4 hours: $13
      • 4-24 hours: $18
      • 24+ hours: $18 per day (or additional portion thereof)


      • IDENTITY MEMBERS: Self-parking is complimentary for Sterling status or higher, subject to availability. Must have Identity card present.
      • 0-1 hour: Complimentary
      • 1-4 hours: $7
      • 4-24 hours: $10
      • 24+ hours: $10 per day (or additional portion thereof)
      • Motorcycles and two-wheeled vehicles: Exempt from parking fees


      The following taxi companies are approved providers from the Las Vegas Airport.

      For additional accessible transportation resources, you may visit the following websites.

      The USBLN does NOT endorse or promote these companies, and is in no way responsible for any situation arising from interaction with these companies or their drivers. We are merely providing information. You are welcome to use any vendor of your choosing.  


      For those conference attendees in need of medical equipment/scooters, etc. - The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas has provided the names of several vendors whose information is included below.  Of course, you are welcome to choose any vendor you prefer; we have provided these for convenience and this in no way serves as an endorsement.

      If you do require any equipment rental during your stay, please work directly with the vendor for selection, payment and delivery.  Please have your vendor make delivery arrangements directly with The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas. Please email Jamie Rosenstein at The Cosmopolitan of Las Vegas at: Jamie.rosenstein@cosmopolitanlasvegas.com.

      Please be sure to include your name, date of stay, along with your confirmation number when sending an email.

      The USBLN does NOT endorse or promote these companies, and is in no way responsible for any situation arising from interaction with these companies or their drivers. We are merely providing information. You are welcome to use any vendor of your choosing.


      Main Lobby and Guest Room Elevators

      Please view the comprehensive instructions here 

      Service Animals Relief Area

      Relief area for service animals are located in The Chelsea Tower by the Chelea Pool on the 14th Floor.  This is the only Animal Relief Area for the hotel.  For detailed directions, please find Navigation Detail for The Cosmopolitan by using the comprehensive instructions here.

      Conference Area

      The meeting space is located in The Chelsea Tower.  The main conference space and registration are located on the 4th floor and there will be some breakout space on the 3rd floor.  For detailed directions, please find Navigation Detail for The Cosmopolitan by using the comprehensive instructions here.

      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.

      Andrea Hall, Chair

      DXC Technology

      Dan Ellerman, Vice Chair


      Brooke Thomas, Secretary

      Lockheed Martin

      Ellen de Bremond, Treasurer


      • Jenn Bassett, JBG SMITH 
      • Karen Cook, Gallaudet University
      • Michelle Crabtree, Hyatt 
      • Sophie Howard, General Dynamics IT
      • Misty Koper, EY
      • Charlesiah McLean, Leidos
      • Eduardo Meza-Etienne, eSSENTIAL Accessibility (Chair, Accessibility Committee)
      • Bob Vetere, Northrop Grumman 
      • Myra Wilder, Marriott International
      • Emily Yee, Deloitte

      Advisory Board

      • Tom Downs, Capital One  
      • Ron Drach, Drach Consulting, LLC (Chair, Wounded Warrior Committee)
      • Donnielle DeMesme, Golden Key Group
      • Rikki Epstein, The Arc of Northern Virginia
      • Denyse Gordon, CACI
      • Tisha Herne, AudioEye
      • Karen Herson, Concepts, Inc.
      • Bryan Moseley, TCS Associates
      • Chrissone Palmer, EY
      • Rick Rogers, The Resource Network (Co-Chair DSDP Committee)
      • Carrie Schroeder, PwC
      • Jenn Sharp, KPMG
      • Kia Silver Hodge, SME-C5 Consulting, LLC
      • Sue Werber, SME -C5 Consulting, LLC (Chair, ME Committee)

      CEO, Executive Director: The Honorable Katherine O. McCary, C5 Consulting, LLC


      Back to the top