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Disability Equality Index(SM) Advisory Committee Announced

Washington, DC (June 5, 2013) -- The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) and the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) jointly announced today the formation of the Disability Equality IndexSM Advisory Committee, a diverse group of thought leaders who have assembled to share with AAPD and the USBLN® their knowledge, expertise, and vision to enhance disability inclusion policies and practices in the workplace.

“We are truly honored to work with such a dynamic group of individuals who offer a broad range of backgrounds and experiences,” said Jill Houghton, Executive Director of the USBLN®. “With the Disability Equality IndexSM having such wide reach amongst business, it is critical to gain perspective from leaders across different industries, business sectors, and within the disability community.”

“I look forward to the Advisory Committee’s insight and recommendations on the Disability Equality IndexSM”, said Mark Perriello, President and CEO of AAPD. “We expect the Advisory Committee will assist in creating a more meaningful tool for business that will ultimately advance employment opportunities for people with disabilities.”

In December 2012, AAPD and the USBLN® announced their joint partnership to develop the Disability Equality IndexSM, a transparent national disability inclusion benchmark tool that will offer major employers an opportunity to receive an objective score on their disability inclusion policies and practices. AAPD and the USBLN® are working diligently throughout 2013 to finalize and launch the first survey to Fortune 1000 companies and top law firms.

The Committee’s members are:

  • Jeannie Amendola, Member and Past President, CastABLE, Walt Disney World Resort and Administrative Assistant, Public Affairs, Walt Disney World Resort
  • Helena Berger, Disability Rights Advocate
  • Sara Bowen, Director, Corporate Counsel, EO Initiatives and Employment Law, Starbucks Coffee Company
  • Kelby Brick, Vice President, Regulatory and Strategic Policy, Purple Communications
  • Mary Brougher, Executive Vice President, Operations, Bender Consulting Services, Inc.
  • Deborah Dagit, President, Deb Dagit Diversity LLC
  • Kareem Dale, Attorney and Disability Rights Advocate
  • Sheri Gilbert Pardo, Assistant General Counsel, Ernst & Young U.S. LLP
  • Christine M. Griffin, Executive Director, Disability Law Center
  • Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Senior Director, Accessibility (CPA), Microsoft
  • Randy Lewis, Founder, No Greatness Without Goodness
  • Fred J. Maahs Jr., Director, National Partnerships, Community Investment, Comcast Corporation and Vice President, Comcast Foundation
  • Susan Mazrui, Director, Public Policy, AT&T Services, Inc.
  • Will Ris, Senior Vice President, Government and Regulatory Affairs, American Airlines
  • Neil Romano, President, The Romano Group
  • Rick Schroder, Manager, Inclusion & Diversity, GlaxoSmithKline
  • Rita Taylor-Nash, SPHR, Vice President, Corporate Diversity, Health Care Service Corporation (HCSC)
  • Keith Wiedenkeller, SPHR, Senior Vice President & Chief People Officer, AMC Entertainment Inc.
  • Bob Witeck, President, Witeck Communications, Inc.
  • Jonathan M. Young, PhD, JD, Partner & General Counsel, FOXKISER, LLP 

About the AAPD

The American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD) is the nation's largest disability rights organization. AAPD promotes equal opportunity, economic power, independent living, and political participation for people with disabilities. AAPD’s members, including people with disabilities and AAPD’s family, friends, and supporters, represent a powerful force for change. To learn more, visit the AAPD Web site:

About the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®)

The US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) is a national non-profit that helps business drive performance by leveraging disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The USBLN® serves as the collective voice of over 50 Business Leadership Network affiliates across the United States, representing over 5,000 businesses. Additionally, the USBLN® Disability Supplier Diversity Program® (DSDP) is the nation's leading third party certification program for disability-owned businesses, including businesses owned by service-disabled veterans.

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