Did you know that December 3rd is the “International Day of Persons with Disabilities” every year? How about that more than 1 in 10 residents of Illinois live with a disability, yet only 35% of working-age Illinoisans with disabilities have jobs?
Since 1992, the United Nations International Day of Persons with Disabilities (IDPD) has been celebrated annually on the 3rd of December around the world.
The theme for 2016’s International Day is “Achieving 17 Goals for the Future We Want”. This theme notes the recent adoption of the 17 Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the role of these goals in building a more inclusive and equitable world for persons with disabilities.
This year’s objectives include assessing the current status of the Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities (CRPD) and SDGs and laying the foundation for a future of greater inclusion for persons with disabilities.
I had the honor of attending an excellent program which complemented the International Day— the Global Aspects of Disability Panel Discussion, hosted at The Northern Trust and supported by the Chicagoland Business Leadership Network (CBLN). The mission of the CBLN is to drive success through disability inclusion and to advance disability inclusion by providing the business community with tools, resources and solutions that drive employee hiring, engagement and performance. Check them out at www.chicagolandbln.org
Other resources that CBLN provides include:
- Education programs, such as the Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit, the premier conference in the Midwest exploring business issues related to disability inclusion
- Resources to connect businesses to the untapped labor pool and tools to gauge performance, including the USBLN’s Disability Equality Index (include copywrite marking)
- Networking and access to share best practices
Later that same day, Microsoft had the honor to host the networking program for the ADA 25 ADvAncing Leadership program! What a great time we had! ADA 25 Advancing Leadership’s long term vision is that Chicago’s vibrant civic life will include people with disabilities to reflect the diversity of the population. Its mission is to build a pipeline and network of leaders with disabilities who are deeply engaged in the civic life of the Chicago region and advance the careers of people in that pipeline. Programs include:
- Civic Connections project – to increase the number of people with disabilities serving in civic leadership positions
- Members Network-Leaders who attend quarterly educational and networking events
- Leadership Institute-a competitively selected class of 16 emerging leaders with disabilities
What can you do?
- Learn about the global and local resources available to business leaders and to people with disabilities.
- Please check out the talented people for this year’s cohort at www.ada25chicago.org
- Reach out! It’s about people reaching out to people and connecting.