February 24-28, 2020!
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Thursday, February 27 • 3:00pm - 3:50pm
A Diverse Team: The Advantages of Employing Populations with All Abilities

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When people of different backgrounds work together to solve problems, the result is more innovation and better outcomes. But diversity goals shouldn’t be limited to gender and ethnicity. Amazing things can happen when companies hire people with differing physical and cognitive abilities. These employees bring unique and valuable perspectives to projects and workplaces.

People with disabilities comprise the largest underemployed group in America. More than 26% of adults in the US have a disability, and the unemployment rate for the disabled is 8% — more than double that of the non-disabled workforce. For people with intellectual disabilities, unemployment soars to 66% of working age adults. 

When applying for work, people with disabilities are met with skepticism...if they get the interview at all. Yet a great many disabled job candidates have advanced degrees with high honors, yet face discrimination from employers. When they do find employment, people with disabilities are often grossly underpaid, in many cases well under minimum wage. 

No matter what their proficiency level, people with disabilities possess skills and perspectives that can greatly contribute to a company’s business goals and culture.
This panel discussion will help bust the myths of employing people with disabilities and give you ideas for how your company can benefit from adding disability to your diversity objectives. 

Discussion topics: 
  • Recognizing the significant advantages to hiring people with disabilities
  • Getting past the fear – accommodating people with different abilities isn’t that hard
  • Defining reasonable accomodations
  • Typical accommodation costs (most are less than $100) and no-cost options
  • Resources available for employers who hire people with disabilities, including paid work internships, stipends for employers, job coaches, etc.
  • Eliminating unnecessary obstacles faced by people with disabilities
  • Identifying and carving out jobs that fit specific abilities
  • Cultivating an inclusive culture

avatar for Phil Donaldson

Phil Donaldson

Chief Operating & Creative Officer, PropelGrowth
Phil Donaldson is Chief Operating & Creative Officer at PropelGrowth, an online sales training company. With 25+ years of experience, Phil has helped companies with branding, content development, creative direction and media production. Phil has spoken and moderated panel discussions... Read More →

avatar for Patrick Hackney

Patrick Hackney

Executive Director, Arc of Larimer County
J. Patrick Hackney joined The Arc of Larimer County in June 2019. Prior to coming to the Arc of Larimer County, Patrick worked at Disability Law Colorado as the Community Integration Team Leader. Before moving to Colorado in 2017, Patrick served in several positions, including Legal... Read More →
avatar for Sarah Greichen

Sarah Greichen

Chief Executive Officer, Scoreafriend
Greichen, 19, is the founder, chairman, and chief executive officer of Score A Friend and serves as a consultant to Score A Friend Clubs across the country. The Denver, Colorado native created the organization after designing a program to help her twin brother, who has an autism spectrum... Read More →
avatar for Kortney Campbell

Kortney Campbell

Job Coach, Foothills Gateway
My name is Kortney Campbell and I am a Career Consultant at Foothills Gateway, Inc. I received my Bachelors of Social Work in December 2015 from CSU. I have been working with adults with developmental and intellectual disabilities since 2010. I have been in my current position since... Read More →
avatar for Jodi Hebbert

Jodi Hebbert

Supported Employment Coordinator, Foothills Gateway
I graduated with a Master's degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from the University of Northern Colorado in May 2019. I have been working in the human services filed for 8 year, supported employment for 4. I have 2 boys, 3 dogs, and a husband at home.
avatar for Heather Brooks

Heather Brooks

Business Outreach Specialist, CDLE, Div. of Vocational Rehabilitation
Heather Brooks is the Business Outreach Specialist for the Division of Vocational Rehabilitation in Northern Colorado. DVR is a state program under the Dept. of Labor and Employment that seeks to help individuals with disabilities in finding and maintaining employment. As Business... Read More →

Thursday February 27, 2020 3:00pm - 3:50pm MST
The CodeGeek Room (Innosphere South Conference Room)