The 2019 Disability:IN North Carolina Fall Conference Breaks Attendance Records!

2019 DisabilityIN North Carolina Fall ConferenceAttendance at the 2019 Disability:IN NC Fall conference topped out at 138 participants, making this conference the largest in the history of the organization. Hosted by Ingersoll Rand in Davidson NC, the conference planning team from Ingersoll Rand and SAS Institute did an outstanding job coordinating the day long event. Evan Turtz, Senior Vice President and General Counsel for Ingersoll Rand, welcomed participants by challenging other Senior Executives to take a leadership role in disability inclusion within their organizations. Evan is the Executive Sponsor of Ingersoll Rand’s VisAbility employee resource group, which fosters inclusion and career development for employees who have disabilities.



Ed SummersEd Summers, Director of Accessibility at SAS Institute, in Cary, NC provided an engaging and insightful keynote address drawing from his 25 years of experience as a software developer and manager who is legally blind. Ed demonstrated some of the existing and emerging technology solutions that SAS Institute is working on to improve software and hardware accommodations for people with disabilities.

The event was recorded by Ingersoll Rand’s media department. Short versions of individual sessions will soon be posted on the DI-NC podcasts. Over 90% of participants at the conference were business leaders doing business across the state. Survey results following the event confirm that businesses are eager to network with one another, share best practices and learn more about how to develop and execute effective disability inclusion strategies. Comments from participants indicate that most businesses are interested in participating in more training events on disability inclusion and employment. Businesses also expressed interest in learning more about the Our Ability Jobs Portal that Disability:IN North Carolina recently launched in partnership with John Robinson, CEO of Our Ability, LLC. Read below to learn more about the Our Ability Jobs Portal and how businesses and job seekers with disabilities can use the system through Disability:IN North Carolina.



The Disability Inclusion Advantage: Getting to Equal

Laurie HennebornOne of the highlights of the conference plenary sessions was when Laurie Henneborn, Managing Director in Accenture Research shared details of Getting to Equal: The Disability Inclusion Advantage study, a collaborative effort between Accenture, Disability:IN and the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD). This ground breaking research provides evidence that companies who complete the Disability Equality Index (DEI) and commit to using the DEI to affect cultural change within their organizations, can expect enhanced profitability and market share.

  • The Accenture research reveals that DEI companies are 2 X more likely to outperform their peers in terms of total shareholder returns compared with the rest of the sample.
  • Furthermore, companies that have improved their DEI score over time (“Improvers”) were four times more likely to have total shareholder returns that outperform their peers, compared to non improvers.

The Accenture Report offers a wealth of information to support the efficacy of disability equality and inclusion including the following.

“All workers benefit from a more diverse workplace. Studies show that working alongside employees with disabilities makes non-disabled individuals more aware of how to make the workplace more inclusive and better for everyone. Staff turnover is also lower —by up to 30 percent—when a well-run disability community outreach program is in place.”

“There are 15.1 million people of working age living with disabilities in the U.S., so the research suggests that if companies embrace disability inclusion, they will gain access to a new talent pool of more than 10.7 million people.” Use the link below to read the full report.

The Accenture Report: Getting to Equal”

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Special Thanks to the Conference Planning Team for a Job Well Done!

  • Greg Young, DI-NC BOD Member, Indirect Category Manager, Ingersoll Rand
  • Jackie LaJoie, Senior Manager, Supplier Diversity, Ingersoll Rand
  • Jenny Clemente, Latin American Aftermarket Sales Enablement Manager, Ingersoll Rand
  • Emily Michelsen, Talent Acquisition Partner-Early Talent, Ingersoll Rand
    • Saima Cardwell, DI-NC BOD Member, Supplier Diversity Specialist, SAS Institute
    • Eric Schneider, Sr. Manager Advanced Learning, Technologies, Ingersoll Rand

Thanks to Wells Fargo for Our Program and Other Print Materials!

Wells Fargo