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DC Metro Business Leadership Network 

Monthly Newsletter: February 2018

What is Your Priority for 2018?
Disability Inclusion Strategies - Take the LEAP

Katherine McCary

The Hon. Katherine McCary, DC Metro BLN and C5 Consulting, LLC

One of your key strategies for disability inclusion is of course, DC Metro BLN engagement. As the 2017 USBLN Affiliate of the Year, what better resource do you, your team and your disability-focused ERG have to engage with high-level subject matter experts and network with peers than at the DC Metro BLN? And if attending in person causes a schedule challenge, engage with us virtually!  But what about building upon DC Metro BLN learning for your own organization to move you to the next level?

For those of you who know me, you know of my passion for the BLN organization, beginning back in the days when I served as USBLN Founding Chair. My passion led me to serving in my current role as CEO to the DC Metro BLN, one that I am very proud to lead. When I retired as Chief Disability Officer at SunTrust Bank seven years ago, I founded a firm that is exclusive in the field: A Disability Owned Firm comprised solely of senior corporate executives with specific disability inclusion expertise.

Because of my commitment to BLN and in support of its mission, my firm, C5 Consulting, LLC, a certified USBLN DOBE, for the first time ever is offering our services to DC Metro BLN organizational members at a discount for 2018, enabling you to move the needle in disability inclusion culture, mindful of budget constraints. This in-house training (1.5 - 3 hours) is delivered by C5 Consulting, LLC team of experts. Our calendar is filling up quickly, so contact us for more information or to reserve a date!

At C5 Consulting, we focus on a variety of inclusion strategies taking a holistic approach to create a sustainable strategy that is hard linked to business needs and success.  Since 2011, clients have benefited from our subject matter expertise to address complex issues including Self-ID/Self Disclosure, Hiring Manager EducationERG/BRG LifecycleIntersectionalityDisability LeadershipBranding and Enterprise-wide learning to affect corporate culture, and increase the employment, engagement and retention of individuals with disabilities. 

A great way to offer on-going learning is through our proprietary customized, accessible eleven topic e-learning Dsabiilty Inclusion IQ module series that can be uploaded to your organization's LMS system. C5 was the first on the market with this product in 2014 and continues to update and add new modules based on our in-depth connections to the corporate community. To view a demo, go to



Buy Tickets - Become a Sponsor

2018 GALA

October 25, 2018

1775 Tysons Boulevard, Tysons Corner, VA

Thank you


Northrop Grumman



audioeye  Concepts - Passion, Creativity, Results

Deloitte  Dinah F. Cohen Consulting, LLC

Northrop GrummaneSSENTIAL Accessibility EY Building a better working world

Gallaudet University General Dynamics

JBG Smith Lockheed Martin

In-Kind Sponsors

Herson Family Vineyards TCS Interpreting TCS Associates

Table of Contents

DC Metro BLN Events


Reimagining Inclusion:

Employee Resource Groups and Millennials

February 21, 2018                                                                               8:30-12:00 


1919 N. Lynn St. Arlington, VA 22209

Please join the DC Metro BLN and Deloitte’s Greater Washington Area Ability First Business Resource Group on February 21st for a conversation on “Reimagining Inclusion: BRGs/ERGs and the Millennial Perspective.” In 2017, Deloitte began standing up Inclusion Councils in local offices across the country as part of a refreshed approach for furthering conversations on workforce inclusion. These councils complement BRGs to foster a greater sense of community and collaboration across segments of the workforce.

During this event, we will hear directly from Deloitte leaders about how they have begun “Reimagining Inclusion," and through both large group discussion and small group breakouts we will share ideas on the future of BRGs/ERGs particularly with the increase of millennials in the workforce. Deloitte practitioners with diverse backgrounds and abilities will join our discussion, bringing a millennial perspective. 

We look forward to a great event!

6th Annual Accessibility, Accommodations and Assistive Technology (AAAT) Forum and Expo

April 12, 2018                                                                                    8:30-1:30 


2941Fairview Park Drive, Suite 100 Falls Church, VA 22041

Join us for one of our annual signature events! The AAAT Forum will present top strategies for supporting your organization's accessibility journey.  We will offer best practices, discuss the legal landscape and upcoming changes to regulations and interactive dialog with subject matter experts.  Each year, the DC Metro BLN showcases leading technology vendors. Come see the latest!


Part 1: How to Get More Applicants with DisabilitiesFind the Hidden Obstacles in Your Recruiting Pipeline

The Sierra Group - Disability and Employment Leaders

Janet Fiore

Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group

Certified Disability Recruiter Training

Join the DC Metro BLN for a two-part webinar featuring Janet Fiore, a long time friend and widely acknowledged disability subject matter expert for the next two webinars in our Disability@Work Series. In Part One, attendees will learn: 

  • How to examine your recruiting materials for accessibility
  • How to enhance your corporate appeal to applicants with disabilities
  • How to implement best practices to meet and exceed Federal guidelines
  • How to focus all levels of HR, recruiter, and manager on accessibility goals


March 28, 2018                                                                        12:00 - 1:00 pm EST

Part 2: How to Ensure a Great Accessible Interview!

 April 18, 2018                                                                   12:00 - 1:00 pm EST



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

Looking for Top Talent?

Luke Robinson
The DC Metro BLN's BroadFutures intern has graduated and looking to start his career! Luke Robinson just graduated Summa Cum Laude from Beacon College in December and is seeking an opportunity to use his analytical and management skills and international experience to build a career in business. Luke is highly motivated and was a key assistant to our staff and committee chairs. Want to know more? Contact Luke - Let's support his career launch! 

Welcome to our New Advisory Board Member!

Prashanth Rajan

Prashanth Rajan, KPMG

Management Consultant, Manager, Advisory

Prashanth is a Manager in KPMG’s People & Change Advisory Practice. "I believe the DC Metro Business Leadership Network (BLN) is a key linchpin in raising awareness of the benefits of hiring and retaining individuals with disabilities throughout the DC area."

Prashanth has more than ten years of experience managing and executing large scale projects, specializing in organizational change management, learning and development, strategic communications, and project management. He has led organizational change management work streams focused on IT-enabled transformations within a variety of industries. Prior to joining KPMG, Prashanth previously spent seven years working as a Foreign Service Officer for the U.S. State Department, working overseas in China, India, and Pakistan. Prashanth graduated with a BA from New York University and an MBA from George Washington University.

Join the DC Metro BLN Gala Committee!

The DC Metro BLN's 4th Annual Gala is October 25, 2018 and planning is underway! Once again being held at EY's beautiful new space overlooking Tysons Corner, our committee has just formed and we are looking for volunteers. If you have experience in event planning or just want to contribute your ideas, please contact us. The committee meets monthly by conference call and we are seeking ideas on keynote as well as support in building our famous Live Auction items. The first meeting will be in February. 

DC Metro BLN Discussion Board

It's all about the MEMBER NETWORK! All members have access to the Discussion Board where they can comment on topics including veterans, accommodations, Millennials, community partners and accessibility.  

Log on to join the discussion!

In the News - Articles of Interest

Disability Supplier Diversity Program - DSOP US Business Leadership Network

Disability Supplier Diversity Corner 

Disability Entrepreneurship Network 

NEXGEN: Transforming Disability Inclusion for Entrepreneur Success 

Powered by DC Metro BLN and Deaf Entrepreneurship Network

Gallaudet University

September 20-22, 2018

The DC Metro BLN Disability Supplier Diversity  Committee in collaboration with the Deaf Entrepreneurship Network has announced its theme for our first joint event geared to Entrepreneurs and Future Entrepreneurs with disabilities and Corporate Supplier Diversity Professionals.   Look for details soon on Speakers, Sessions, Exhibit opportunities and Attendee registration.
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

                   The Resource NetworkDEN - Deaf Entrepreneur Network

Millennial Corner

College Steps
Meet College Steps!

College Steps is a non-profit working to empower students living with learning and social challenges through structured post-secondary support.  Their team works closely with high schools, colleges and families to emphasize peer-to-peer services that create successful post-secondary opportunities.  

The Workforce team was developed to support students on an individual basis with internship development and employment goals.  They work closely with students to create cover letters and build resumes based on their internship placements.  Each student has a peer mentor from the college who joins them at their internship if needed for additional support.  

College Steps works closely with community employers and have found that a peer based model best supports their students in the working world.  Many of these students continue their college careers and utilize their internship skills after they graduate.  College Steps is always looking for ways to connect with additional community employers to provide work placements and additional opportunities. Tori Milne is the Director of Workforce for College Steps. For more information or to contact Tori or visit

Veterans Corner 

Apply To The HIRE Vets Medallion Program
Demonstration Today!

The HIRE Vets Medallion Program Demonstration is now accepting applications!

The Program Demonstration will recognize job creators for their investments in recruiting, employing, and retaining our nation’s veterans.

The Program Demonstration will allow the Department of Labor’s Veterans’ Employment and Training Service (DOL VETS) to initially run applications, raise awareness of the HIRE Vets Medallion Program, and enable more employers to prepare to successfully garner recognition when the Program launches in 2019.

The Program Demonstration will use the same criteria the HIRE Vets Medallion Program will use in 2019. The Program Demonstration has no application fee and is limited to the first 300 applicants.

Job creators of all sizes can apply online at

For more information, visit, follow @VETS_DOLand join the conversation #HIREVets. 

DRIVE Subscription

ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

A new feature is available on the Office of Disability Employment Policy's Data and Resources to Inspire a Vision of Employment website that allows users to sign up for periodic updates on state-level policy and practice innovations, technical assistance initiatives, and outcomes that are most relevant to them. Information is vital to ensuring that systems and services put Employment First. This new feature is designed to customize the delivery of information to the users who require it. Users can go to the DRIVE website to select the states, service delivery systems, policy topics, and data sets that most interest them, and will receive notification when information that matches these preferences is added to the site.

 Visit the DRIVE website

The Workforce Recruitment Program: 

Where Success Comes Full Circle

WRP - Workforce Recruitment Program

The Workforce Recruitment Program is an initiative, managed by ODEP and the U.S. Department of Defense, which offers employers access to a database of pre-screened college students and recent graduates with disabilities who are interested in summer or permanent jobs. In a DOL blog, Lauren Karas, business development specialist at ODEP, discusses her journey from WRP student to her current position as manager of the program. She highlights the benefits of the WRP for both students and employers. “It's my hope that more employers will reap its rewards, and that more students with disabilities use it as a gateway to a rewarding career,” she says.

 Read the WRP blog

Disability Equality Index

 Registration is now open for the 2018 

Disability Equality Index (DEI). 

Disability Equality Index (DEI) is a free benchmarking tool for USBLN partners that provides a confidential opportunity to receive an objective score on disability inclusion policies and practices. It’s an aspirational, educational, recognition tool that helps identify opportunities for continued improvement and helps establish a reputation as an employer of choice. The DEI is a joint initiative with the American Association of People with Disabilities.

Companies can now register for the Disability Equality Index. 

Visit the DEI Website.

We value transparency, learn more about the DEI survey questions.

View the 2017 DEI Best Places to Work.
View the 2016 DEI Best Places to Work.

Upcoming Events in the Area and Beyond 


PEAT - Partnership on Employment & Accessible Technology

PEAT Talks: Emerging Workplace Technologies and Vision Loss

Thursday, February 15, 2pm ET

Paul Schroeder ​

Paul Schroeder, Director of Public Policy & Strategic Alliances for Aira (link is external)

Paul leads Aira’s public policy engagement and issue development in the public sector including state/federal programs, supports Aira’s business development, and manages the relationship with key organizations representing the interests of people with disabilities. Prior to Aira, Paul spent over 20 years in various roles at the American Foundation for the Blind (link is external).

Aira(link is external) Director of Public Policy & Strategic Alliances Paul Schroeder will discuss how emerging technologies are shaping the landscape of employment for people with vision loss, and other disabilities. This session will examine the development and implications of new technologies that provide:

  • access to remote, real-time, human and AI assistance in the workplace
  • smartphone apps such as Seeing AI and BeMyEyes
  • vision enhancement through electronic optical eyewear
  • support for indoor wayfinding assistance
  • acceptance and privacy



PEAT Talks is a monthly virtual speaker series to showcase organizations and individuals whose work is advancing accessible technology in the workplace. Held the third Thursday of every month at 2pm ET, these events are designed to be energetic and interactive discussions highlighting a spectrum of exciting work. To see upcoming events in this series, please visit their calendar.

Mid-Atlantic ADA Center

Top Things to Know About Braille Signage

February 15, 2018
12:30 - 1:00 p.m. Eastern Time
Join us for this 30-minute webinar and learn more about accessible signage.

Cancer as a Disability: Your Rights in the Workplace

February 20, 2018
2:00 - 3:30 p.m. Eastern Time
This 90-minute session will provide an overview of the laws that provide protection in the workplace for those who are coping with a cancer diagnosis.

For moreupcoming webinars in 2018 please visit ADA Mid-Atlantic Center's calendar.


Gallaudet University Internship and Job Fair - March 2, 2018

Friday, March 2, 2018
11 AM - 3 PM 
Field House Gymnasium

The Career Center is excited to announce our Spring 2018 Internship and Job Fair!  Participating in this event will provide employers with opportunities to recruit from hundreds of eager and qualified candidates, add to diversity recruitment strategies, and increase or maintain visibility at the world's only university in which all programs and services are specifically designed to accommodate deaf and hard of hearing students.

Register today to secure a spot!

We provide our guests with convenient free on-site parking and access to comfortable accommodations at the Gallaudet University Kellogg Conference Center and Hotel (for those traveling to Washington, DC).  All exhibitors will be served a continental breakfast and a hot lunch. Registration also includes two representatives, booth, free Wi-Fi, and electrical hook up (if requested prior to the event).

For more information or to register, please contact Monica Garvin at monica.garvin@gallaudet.eduor 202-651-5438

2018 AAPD Leadership Award Gala


March 13, 2018 | 6:30pm – 9:30pm | Washington, DC

AAPD is proud to recognize Lydia Brown and Emily Ladau as the recipients of the 2018 AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards.

Through the AAPD Paul G. Hearne Leadership Awards, the American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) recognizes outstanding emerging leaders with disabilities who exemplify leadership, advocacy, and dedication to the broader cross-disability community. Two individuals each receive $2,500 in recognition of their outstanding contributions and $7,500 to further a new or existing initiative that increases the political and economic power of people with disabilities.

Purchase Tickets!

NEXTGEN DISABILITY INCLUSION USBLN LAS VEGAS - July 9 - 12, 2018 Annual Conference and Expo
Registration Deadlines:        Early Bird: February 28, 2018
Regular: June 15, 2018

The USBLN has opened registration for the USBLN Annual Conference & Expo. Last year’s conference sold out and this year the event is expected to bring together more than 1,000 attendees from across the country.

Full Conference

3 – Day Package July 10-12, 2018
Includes Conference Meals, Receptions & Leadership Awards Dinner

Register Now

Registration and Hotel Space will go fast; you don’t want to miss out!

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

  • Dinah Cohen, Dinah Cohen Consulting, LLC 
  • 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
  • Ann Rader, Healthcare Transformation, Strategy Execution & Management Consultant 
  • Prashanth Rajan, KPMG
  • 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

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