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Technology Changes Everything: Innovating to Include People of All Abilities in a More Diverse Workforce

Friday, October 27, 2017 at 8:30am to 5:00pm

Baruch College, 14-220, 14th Floor One Bernarnd Baruch Way

Through several panel presentations and keynote speakers, this forum will highlight existing and emerging innovations promoting greater disability inclusion in the workplace.

Topics to be addressed include: workforce development initiatives in technology and tech-intensive industries, training initiatives in the tech sector for people on the Autism Spectrum, inclusive design in tech products and services, entrepreneurship training and promotion for individuals with disabilities, and a discussion on how recruitment, screening, career development and job matching online tools can be design to facilitate greater inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace.

Join us to learn about existing and emerging innovations in the tech sector that promote disability inclusion in the workplace.


Thursday, October 26, 2017

12:00 Registration

1:00    Introduction and Setting the Stage

Linda Barrington, Associate Dean for Outreach and Sponsored Research, ILR School, Cornell University & Susanne Bruyère, Director, and Professor of Disability Studies K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, ILR School, Cornell University; Gary Bolles, Chair of the Future of Work, Singularity University, San Francisco

1:30    Keynote Address Pat Romzek, LifeChanger Executive Consultant, Cisco

2:00    A Job Changes Everything – Skilling up the Diverse Technology Workforce

Description:  All organizations – regardless of industry – need a more tech-savvy talent pool to help them manage the ever-changing needs of the growing knowledge economy.  Hear how tech-intensive employers and government policymakers are expanding the talent pool to include people with disabilities so as to acquire a workforce with the skills needed to stay competitive globally.


  • Robin Boggs, US Corporate Citizenship Lead, Accenture
  • Naitik Metha, Co-Founder, NextBillion
  • Jennifer Sheehy, Deputy Assistant Secretary, Office of Disability Employment Policy, US Department of Labor    
  • Jim Sinocchi Head of Office of Disability Inclusion, JPMorgan Chase & Co.

3:15 Break

3:45    Where Difference Contributes to Business Differentiation:  Neurodiversity in the Workplace

Description:  Within the past five years, technology- and tech-intensive industries have shown increasing interest in broadening the pool of available talent to fill the significant number of open positions. Among the new labor pools being explored have been individuals with Autism. This panel of early adopters will describe why they made this choice, efforts to date, and how results are dramatically illustrating how a difference can be a business differentiator, as well as a change catalyst for building a more inclusive climate.


  • Facilitator:Marcia Scheiner, President and Founder, Integrate Autism Employment Advisors
  • Megan Lawrence, Accessibility Technical Evangelist, Microsoft
  • James Mahoney, Chief Quality Officer, Executive Director and Head of Autism at Work, JPMorgan Chase & Co.
  • Jamell Mitchell, Associate Director, Americas ASA Program, EY
  • Jose Velasco, VP Product and Innovation, Autism@Work Program, SAP

5:00    Networking Reception (Sponsored by Hamershlag Sulzberger Borg, with music by CandoMusos)

7:00    Networking Reception Close

Friday, October 27, 2017

8:30    Registration and Breakfast

9:00    Entrepreneurship, Technology and Disability

Description:  Entrepreneurship and start-ups are providing a world of new employment opportunities for people around the globe.  This panel will discuss how their organizational and individual efforts are contributing to extending opportunities to an increasingly diverse set of people with a wide variety of abilities, including individuals with disabilities.


  • Facilitator:Paolo Gaudiano, Director, CCNY; Founder, Aleria
  • Rajesh Anandan, CEO, ULTRAtesting
  • Kate Caldwell, Postdoctoral Fellow, Disability and Human Development, University of Illinois at Chicago and CEED (Chicagoland Entrepreneurship Education for People with Disabilities) Chicago
  • Diego Mariscal, Founder, CEO, & Chief Disabled Officer, 2Gether-International
  • Jim McCaffrey, BS ILR '81

10:15 Break

10:45 Inclusive by Design

Description:  Unintentionally limiting the population of potential users for your products usually does not make good business sense. But every design decision has the potential to exclude customers. With some forethought and an inclusive approach, potentially missed customers could become dedicated users. To make that work, employers need to bring to bear a workforce that understands inclusive design from the outset – and to include diverse talent in its workforce to do authentic testing and participate in the design from an intimately knowledgeable point of view. Come hear how leading businesses are changing their paradigm and attracting a broader customer base through inclusive product design and development.


  • Facilitator:Ron Brachman, Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Cornell University and Director Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech
  • Sara Basson, Accessibility Evangelist, Google
  • Alan Brightman, Independent Consultant
  • Megan Lawrence, Accessibility Technical Evangelist, Microsoft
  • Richard Ram,

12:00 Lunch (Sponsored by By the Lee Adaptive Sailing) and Keynote Address Gary Bolles, Chair of the Future of Work, Singularity University, San Francisco

1:15    Diversity and Inclusion Considerations in the use of Recruitment, Online Screening, Selection, and Job Matching Tools

Description:  Companies are increasingly using online tools to assist with recruitment, sorting and screening of thousands of applications coming in to online systems, and the matching of candidates to positions, with expectations of increased success in identifying the right talent for specific jobs. This panel will discuss how these products and services offer both business clients and diverse job applicants an opportunity to make it into the right jobs where both candidate and business success are better assured.


  • Facilitator:Alan Richter, President, QED Consulting, LLC
  • Jeff Facteau, Executive Vice President of Science Operations, Logi-Serve
  • Loren Larsen, CTO, HireVue
  • Frida Polli, CEO/Co-Founder, Pymetrics
  • Dale Stephens, Partnerships, ROIKOI

2:30    Break

3:00   Bringing it all Together/Concluding Panel

Description:  Representatives from business, higher education, government, the disability community, the media and forum participants will discuss how learnings across the days of the forum can be turned into action items for making tangible change in improving employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities in technology fields and the tech sector.


  • Facilitator:Gary Bolles, Chair of the Future of Work, Singularity University, San Francisco
  • Ginger Adams Otis, On the Job, NY Daily News
  • Ron Brachman, Professor in the Department of Computer Science, Cornell University and Director Jacobs Technion-Cornell Institute at Cornell Tech
  • Victor Calise, Commissioner, NYC Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities
  • David Jones, Disability Employment Initiative Lead, Employment and Training Administration at U.S. Department of Labor
  • Lori Golden, Abilities Strategy Leader, Americas Talent Team, EY

4:15    Closing Remarks Susanne Bruyère, Director, K. Lisa Yang and Hock E. Tan Institute on Employment and Disability, ILR School, Cornell University

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