Accessible Technology Focus of National Business & Disability Council International Strategic Alliance with the Business Disability Forum

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Contact:

Kim Brussell

kbrussell@viscardicenter.org

516.465.1608

Accessible Technology Focus of National Business & Disability Council

International Strategic Alliance with the Business Disability Forum

July 1, 2013 The National Business & Disability Council (NBDC) at The Viscardi Center has stepped up its efforts to raise awareness about the benefits of accessible technology and its impact on the workplace by entering into a strategic alliance with London based Business Disability Forum. Business Disability Forum (BDF) is a not-for-profit business consortium that enables businesses to become fully accessible to customers and employees with disabilities.

“We have a common goal since NBDC is a comprehensive resource for assisting companies with the inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace, marketplace and supply chain,” explains Laura M. Francis, Executive Director at the National Business & Disability Council at The Viscardi Center. “This alliance assists us in further educating NBDC members on information and communication technology accessibility in the workplace as well as in the community. It is particularly beneficial for our members who have a global presence.”

NBDC provides national support to the Technology Taskforce of the Business Disability Forum which is led by Chief Technology Officers and aims to enable global and U.S. businesses to increase their talent and customer access by discussing challenges, barriers and the solutions they have devised and implemented.

Susan Scott-Parker, Founder and Chief Executive of Business Disability Forum says, “We look forward to a very practical collaboration with NBDC. Our Technology Taskforce must enable a more efficient global ICT marketplace if we are to make it easier for Chief Technology officers to deliver the necessary business improvement; we will only deliver on this crucial objective with the support of organizations like the NBDC.

We have much in common including leading members of both organizations such as Ernst and Young, GSK, KPMG, Barclays, PWC. Our aim thorough this exciting strategic alliance is to work with and learn from – NBDC as they support these global enterprises to build on the work of the Taskforce in the American context. In addition we will work together to raise the profile of the business benefits which flow from accessibility and to challenge every business to sign the Taskforce Charter and then to systematically improve its accessibility performance”.

“Ultimately, we expect technology will deepen the workforce talent pool through the inclusion of people with disabilities; increase employee productivity; and deliver a high quality customer experience to a diverse group of consumers,” says John D. Kemp, President and CEO of The Viscardi Center. “This relationship is another step in the right direction as it encourages businesses to develop, utilize and deliver accessible products and services.”

The NBDC’s services are offered through tiered membership levels or on a project basis and assist businesses in developing strategies to implement, grow, measure and create solid disability programs. These include talent acquisition, advancement and retention strategies; customized training seminars and workshops; facility and IT accessibility surveys; and an information hotline for disability-related employment issues. Its initiatives to assist employers with expanding their recruiting of people with disabilities include Job Postings Services that aid in attracting qualified people with disabilities to their companies, the NBDC National Resume Database which provides access to resume listings 365/24/7 and the Emerging Leaders summer internship program for college students with disabilities.

Founded by Dr. Henry Viscardi, Jr., who served as disability advisor to eight U.S. presidents and became one of the world’s leading advocates, The Viscardi Center provides Pre-K through High School education, school-to-work transition services, vocational training, career counseling

and placement, assistive technology and workforce diversification assistance to children, adolescents, and adults with disabilities and businesses. A global leader, it employs more than 300 professionals, including experts in education, human resources and technology. Learn more at viscardicenter.org

Note to editors:

Business Disability Forum is a unique not-for-profit business consortium that makes it easier and more rewarding to do business with and to employ disabled people. We build disability-smart organizations which improve their business performance by increasing disability confidence, accessibility, productivity and profitability.

The Technology Taskforce is a Business Disability Forum partner initiative which brings together some of the world’s largest procurers and suppliers of ICT including Barclays, PricewaterhouseCoopers, Microsoft and Cisco. It was set up by a unique group of CIOs and CTOs across sectors to mobilize the influence and purchasing power of global business to drive improvement across a global ICT marketplace.

Charter signatories are at: http://www.btat.org/charter_signatories

BDF website: http://businessdisabilityforum.org.uk/

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