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Reaching the Gatekeepers of Disability Inclusiveness in the Workplace: A Just-in-Time Approach for Mid-level Managers

Managers and supervisors are the kingpins of any diversity or inclusion initiative in the workplace. They are the first-line gatekeepers of decisions about hiring, coaching, performance, promotions, employee development, accommodation and termination. Yet, they have largely been left out of the equation when we consider disability inclusiveness efforts. Thus far, no disability inclusiveness programs have been crafted specifically to engage mid-level managers—to fit their roles, their challenges and their unique contribution to the inclusion effort. The “world” of the manager/supervisor has changed dramatically over the past two decades. Managers today have more direct reports, must often lead remotely, are confronted by rapidly changing, complex organizational structures, and often face increasing productivity expectations along with shrinking budgets. Also, there is significant “churn” today in the manager/supervisor role and this constant change in manager/supervisor ranks clearly impacts the work lives of people with disabilities. For these reasons, traditional training may not be the best way to reach these key players. What is needed is an initiative that makes sense and is useable in the world of a manager. What is needed is a “just-in-time” approach. During this webinar, we will discuss how economic and workforce trends have impacted the world of the mid-level manager and what this could mean for workers with disabilities. Then, we will review a new approach being taken by the Northeast ADA Center at Cornell University to enhance disability inclusiveness in the workplace by reaching mid-level managers. This webinar is ideally suited for human resource professionals, diversity professionals, people with disabilities, disability service providers, ADA Coordinators, state/local government professionals, career counselors, and anyone interested in disability and workplace issues.

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