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Kessler Foundation Participates in ADA Anniversary Roundtable for Leaders in Disability Employment

ADA Anniversary Roundtable on Disability Employment

West Orange, NJ. July 26, 2012. On July 26, Kessler Foundation‘s Rodger DeRose and Elaine Katz attended Senator Harkin’s ADA Anniversary Roundtable on Disability Employment.  Invitees included Secretary of Education Arne Duncan, Secretary of Labor Hilda Solis, Delaware Governor Jack Markell, Rep. Cathy Rodgers, Rep. Jim Sensenbrenner and leaders in government, the disability community, business and philanthropy.   

The roundtable focused on Senator Harkin’s new  report  “Unfinished Business: Making Employment for People with Disabilities a National Priority.”  Harkin chairs the US Senate Committee on Health, Education, Labor, & Pensions, which issued this national call to action.  Harkin introduced the committee’s report in a Huffington Post article entitled, “Disability Employment: Are We at the Tipping Point?” published on July 16.

Governor Markell is the new Chair of the National Governors Association, which also issued a new initiative, A Better Bottom Line: Employing People with Disabilitieswhich aims to increase employment among individuals with disabilities because “it’s the right thing to do, the smart thing to do, and it makes good business sense.”  This initiative, also issued on July 16, focuses on identifying the barriers to equal employment opportunities and the role that both state government and business can play in advancing opportunities for individuals with disabilities in the competitive labor market.

On July 26, Kessler Foundation and the Heldrich Center commemorated the ADA anniversary by issuing a new research brief, “Strategies to Support Employer-Driven Initiatives to Recruit and Retain Employees with Disabilities.” Authors are Elaine Katz of Kessler Foundation, Meg O’Connell of the National Organization on Disability, and Robert Nicholas, PhD, of the Heldrich Center.  The brief explores a growing trend among employers to establish initiatives to increase the participation of workers with disabilities in their workplaces.