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M-Enabling Leadership Briefing: The Acceleration of Innovation in Inclusive Virtual Workplaces for Persons with Disabilities

Date: April 21, 2021

Location: Online


Event timing:
11:00 A.M. - 01:00 P.M. EST

Watch the recording of the M-Enabling Virtual Leadership Briefing April 2021 on YouTube.

The M-Enabling Virtual Leadership Briefing 2021 will focus on the theme, "The Acceleration of Innovation in Inclusive Virtual Workplaces for Persons with Disabilities." The fast-paced, two-hour program includes dynamic interviews with thought leaders, engaging discussions, live polls and moderated questions from the audience.

Important information:

Speakers' Biographies

Event Conductor: CHRISTOPHER M. LEE, Ph.D., IAAP Managing Director; G3ict Chief Learning Officer


AXEL LEBLOIS, President, G3ict

Opening Remarks

Deputy Assistant Secretary, U.S. Department of Labor
Jennifer Sheehy is the Deputy Assistant Secretary leading the Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), U.S. Department of Labor. The mission of ODEP is to develop policy that increases job opportunities for youth and adults with disabilities. In 2016, she was also appointed by the President to the AbilityOne Commission. Prior to her current position, Jennifer spent ten years at the US Department of Education in many roles, including acting Director of the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, acting Deputy Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration and Special Assistant to the Assistant Secretary of Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services. Jennifer came to the Department of Education from the Presidential Task Force on Employment of Adults with Disabilities where she was Senior Policy Advisor and served a detail as Associate Director in the White House Domestic Policy Council. Before she joined the task force staff, Jennifer was Vice President of the National Organization on Disability and Director of its CEO Council. Jennifer earned a B.A. from Cornell University and graduated with honors from Georgetown University, where she received her MBA. While in graduate school, she worked in marketing research with Anheuser-Busch Companies in St. Louis. Before graduate school, Jennifer also worked in marketing and management for Sheraton and Marriott. Jennifer has received many civic and achievement awards including the 2019 Presidential Rank Award, the Accenture Women in Government "Rising Leader" award, and the Diet Coke/Glamour magazine "Women at Their Best" award. Jennifer lives in Washington, D.C., with her husband.


Technology Directions That Matter for Accessible Virtual Work Environments

Chief Accessibility Officer, Microsoft
Jenny is chief accessibility officer at Microsoft, leading the company’s efforts to drive great products, services and websites that empower people and organizations to achieve more. Her team is at the forefront of creating positive experiences that apply technology to make a difference in the world and the lives of individuals, from how we hire and support people with disabilities in employment to innovative technology that aims to revolutionize what’s possible for people with disabilities. With the help of her team and broad community within Microsoft, Lay-Flurrie leads many initiatives to empower people with disabilities both inside and outside of Microsoft. She founded the Disability Employee Resource Group at Microsoft and chaired it for 10 years. She created the Disability Answer Desk, which provides specialist customer support to people with disabilities (over 1M calls handled to date), hosts the annual Microsoft Ability Summit, which focuses on empowering 2000+ attendees with the inclusive and innovative thinking necessary to enable people around the world. Instrumental in projects such as Autism Hiring Program, Soundscape and the Microsoft Ability Hackathon, which has supported over 500 hackathon teams building technology for people with disabilities. Lay-Flurrie was recognized as nominated as a technology groundbreaker by CEO Satya Nadella in Wired Magazine, and is a contributor to the book, “The Ability Hacks,” which shares behind-the-scenes stories of the hackers who pioneered two innovative hack-turned-solutions used by people with disabilities worldwide. Outside of Microsoft, Jenny is the immediate past chair of Disability:IN and is on the board of Gallaudet University and Team Gleason. Was recognized as a ‘Disability Employment Champion of Change’ by the White House in October 2014 and as one of Fast Companies Most Creative people in business in 2017.

Founder & CEO, BarrierBreak
A serial entrepreneur with a passion for technology and disability, looking at ways to make digital accessibility a priority! She has been recognized as one of the Top 15 Women Transforming India by Niti Aayog 2019 and as one of the Top 20 Most Powerful Women in Business in India for the year 2017 by Business Today magazine. Shilpi is the founder of BarrierBreak and 247 Accessible Documents who is motivated to ensure that as the organization scales, it impacts the lives of disabled people globally and has developed Newz Hook - India's 1st inclusive news website and app. An Ashoka Fellow and a recipient of “NCPEDP – Shell Helen Keller Award 2008” – Non-disabled role model supporter of increased employment opportunities for people with disabilities, she has successfully built a sustainable business model in disability products and services.

Lightning Talk

Latest Data on How Work Will Evolve Post-Pandemic

Managing Vice President, Gartner
Lauren Romansky, Managing Vice President, Gartner Research is passionate about organizational culture, opportunity and inclusion, and talent management challenges. She launched Gartner/ CEB’s Diversity & Inclusion Leadership Council in 2016 and manages the research team, supporting Heads of Diversity and Inclusion globally. In her role, Ms. Romansky speaks daily with those leading D&I and has authored numerous studies and implementation support around D&I strategy and trends. She regularly leads roundtable discussions and presents to and facilitates discussions at Gartner/CEB member organizations across the globe.

Panel Discussion

What We Learned from the Pandemic: Hands-on Observations Made by Employees with Disabilities and Workplace Accommodation Experts during the Pandemic

President and CEO, American Association of People with Disabilities (AAPD)
Maria Town is the President and CEO of the American Association of People with Disabilities. In this role, she works to increase the political and economic power of people with disabilities. Prior to this she served as the Director of the City of Houston Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities where she advocated for the rights and needs of citizens with disabilities, served as a liaison between the mayor, city council, city departments and other public and private entities on matters pertaining to people with disabilities in Houston, and established local and national partnerships to advance inclusion. Town is the former Senior Associate Director in the Obama White House Office of Public Engagement where she managed the White House’s engagement with the disability community and older Americans. She also managed the place-based portfolio and coordinated engagement across Federal agencies. While at the White House, Town hosted an inclusive fashion show that highlighted the efforts of makers and designers to enhance disability integration. Prior to this, Town was a policy advisor at the Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy. While at ODEP, Town led and coordinated numerous efforts to improve employment outcomes for youth and young adults with disabilities. She has particular expertise in areas of youth development and leadership and promoting college and career readiness for all youth. In addition to her disability policy work, Town is the creator of the popular CP Shoes blog where she writes about fashion, design, and disability. She was recently named to the Susan Daniel’s Disability Mentoring Hall of Fame and to the inaugural class of Emory University’s 40 Under 40. She hails from Louisiana, where her family still resides.


Director, Employer and Workplace Policy Team, Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor
Louis Orslene, MPIA, MSW, serves the Office of Disability Employment Policy, U.S. Department of Labor, as the Director for the Employer and Workplace Policy Team. The Employer Team examines the policy issues and barriers facing employers as they seek to recruit, hire, retain, and advance individuals with disabilities in the workplace. The Team fulfills its mission by encouraging adoption and implementation of disability employment policies and practices that meet the needs of private and public employers and individuals with disabilities. Prior to joining ODEP, Lou served as a Disability Policy Advisor supporting the Department of Defense Office of Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion. Lou has also served as the Co-Director of the Department of Labor’s Job Accommodation Network (JAN). He has extensive knowledge of workplace accommodations, Title 1 of the Americans with Disabilities Act as amended in 2008 and the Rehabilitation Act of 1973. Lou has more than 20 years of experience developing and implementing disability-related public sector initiatives and 15 years of experience providing customized training to private industry, public agencies and nonprofit organizations. Lou graduated from the University of Pittsburgh with Master's degrees in Public and International Affairs and Social Work. Lou also holds a certification in Disability Management as well as a certificate in Managing Public and Non-profit Organizations. He holds an undergraduate degree in Human Resource Management. Lou’s presentations are informed by 25 years in the field of disability employment and through collaborations with groups such as the Disability:IN, Disability Management Employers Coalition, Society of Human Resource Management, National Business and Disability Council, Assistive Technology Industry Association, and the American Association of People with Disabilities, among others. Lou is committed to increasing the employability of individuals with disabilities. This commitment is continuously deepened through the exploration of the nexus between the needs of employers and abilities of individuals with disabilities.

Service Owner for Assistive Technologies (AT), Ernst & Young
Kevin Grogg is a Product Owner for Assistive Technologies (AT) for Ernst & Young (EY) and has occupied the position for 5 years. His primary duty is to provide 1-1 AT services “at a distance” via Microsoft Teams. Before EY, he worked fifteen years at Shepherd Center, the last ten in the Assistive Technology department. He provided AT services for patients with spinal cord injuries or brain trauma. Mr. Grogg holds a BS in Management from Georgia Tech and a MS in Exercise Science & Biomechanics from Georgia State University.

Associate Director Benefits - Human Resources - ATT Communications, AT&T
Janet is an Associate Director of Benefits with the AT&T Corporate Attendance and Leave Management Organization. She leads a team of HR professionals who handle Job Accommodation escalations for the enterprise and Denied Disabilities for the West. Prior to her current role, Janet was an Associate Director in AT&T HR Services overseeing the client aligned Employee Relations Managers providing HR advice and counsel on a range of topics, including performance management and development, policy compliance, contract interpretation, labor relations and code of business conduct compliance. Janet has 25 years of HR experience managing a full spectrum of human resources programs, services, and functions in both union and non-union environments. She joined AT&T in the west in 1996 as a Performance Manager, in Information Technology. She has since held several HR Positions. Janet has demonstrated success introducing process improvements, HR service delivery, compensation system support, and staff development initiatives driving corporate goal attainment. Janet is passionate about AT&T's commitment to accommodate persons with disabilities. As well as ensuring that AT&T is in compliance with all laws regarding the accommodation of disabled individuals, which includes engaging the individual in an interactive dialogue to determine an effective reasonable accommodation. Janet is also passionate about Community Engagement. For the last three years she has been a recipient of the Bronze level President's award for volunteerism. She connects with her community through giving and volunteering her time to help women in crisis and faith based learning. Janet resides in the Sacramento area with her husband and daughter.

Lightning Talk

Government’s Perspective: What Opportunities the Future of Work Holds?

Director, Office of Federal Contract Compliance Projects, U.S. Department of Labor
Jenny R. Yang joined the OFCCP as its Director on January 20, 2021. In the Obama-Biden Administration, from 2013-2018, she served as Chair, Vice-Chair, and Commissioner of the U.S. Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC), after unanimous Senate confirmation. She led efforts to tackle systemic discrimination, including enhancing the EEOC’s annual data collection to include employer reporting of pay data and initiated the Select Task Force on the Study of Harassment in the Workplace. She led comprehensive investments in agency-wide technology, launching new digital systems to expand access to the public. After her service on the EEOC, as a Senior Fellow at the Urban Institute, Ms. Yang worked to revitalize anti-discrimination laws to better protect workers as structural and technological changes transform work. In addition, as a strategic partner with Working IDEAL, Ms. Yang assisted employers in preventing harassment and promoting equality of opportunity in hiring, pay and promotion through the design of employment practices. Prior to joining the EEOC, Ms. Yang spent a decade representing workers in complex nationwide employment discrimination class actions and wage and hour collective actions as a partner at Cohen Milstein. Before that, she served as a Senior Trial Attorney with the U.S. Department of Justice, Civil Rights Division, Employment Litigation Section. She began her career at the National Employment Law Project as a fellow advocating for the workplace rights of garment workers. After law school, she clerked for the late Judge Edmund V. Ludwig, of the United States District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. She is a graduate of Cornell University and New York University School of Law, where she was a Root-Tilden Public Interest Scholar.

Panel Discussion

How Digital Accessibility Innovation Will Drive New Employment Opportunities for Persons with Disabilities

Director, Global Public Policy, AT&T
Susan P. Mazrui works on public policy issues related to disability, aging and social justice. Mazrui was the architect of AT&T’s Accessibility and Inclusion Program which identifies and addresses technology and social challenges faced by a corporation committed to full inclusion. She led the effort to create the Corporate Accessibility Technology Office, a program to evaluate AT&T advanced communications products and services. Under her leadership, Cingular Wireless became the first major US carrier to offer talking cellphones, accessible smartphones and a range of products and services designed to meet the communications needs of people with disabilities and the aging market. Over the last twenty-five years, Ms. Mazrui has presented at numerous conferences and events and has written numerous articles in consumer publications including Critical Issues in Aging and AccessWorld®. Ms. Mazrui served as the co-chair of the Federal Communications Commission’s Disability Advisory Committee and served on two terms of the Federal Communications Commission’s Consumer Advisory Committee. She currently serves on the boards of the World Institute on Disability and G3ict as well as the Advisory Committee for the Disability Equality Index. In the past, she had served on boards of the US Business Leadership Network, the American Foundation for the Blind and the Committee on Disability Power & Pride. Specialties: Public affairs, community relations and outreach, wireless communications, conflict resolution, technology access by persons with disabilities and older adults, special education and elementary education, health equity, social justice, and intersectionality.


Co-Director, PEAT
Bill Curtis-Davidson a Co-Director and Sr. Consultant on Emerging Tech Accessibility at PEAT (Partnership on Employment and Accessible Technology). In this role, he works to advance the accessibility of emerging workplace technologies, including XR and AI, to increase employment opportunities for people with disabilities. He partners with the disability community, tech companies, and the public to advance adoption of inclusive design and promising practices for tech accessibility. He serves on the External Advisory Board of the GA Tech Human-Computer Interaction Degree Program.

Global Head of Accessibility, Atos
Neil Milliken is Global Head of Accessibility at Atos His role is to help make the world a better place by delivering better technology for customers and staff, embedding inclusive practice into the processes of organisations with thousands of employees and turnovers of billions. Neil delivers strategy and services working with a wide range of clients helping them to develop policies, processes, and technology solutions to meet the needs of their staff and customers. He is the Atos representative on the Business Disability Forum Technology Task Force. Neil is also an invited expert for the W3C Cognitive Accessibility Taskforce & member of the Atos Scientific Community & Atos Distinguished Expert. He is co-founder of AXSChat Europe’s largest twitter chat with a focus on Accessibility & Inclusion. Neil is a member of the Board of Directors for World Institute on Disability, a Non Exec at Genius Within & Chair of the Diversity Board for Institute of Coding. Neil was named in the top ten of the Shaw Trust Disability Power 100 list in 2018 and was named D&I practitioner of the year in the 2019 Disability Smart Awards.

Executive Director, U.S. Access Board
Dr. Pavithran was appointed to the Access Board as a public member in 2012 and reappointed to a second term four years later. During his tenure, he served terms as chair and as vice chair of the Board. In addition, he was active in the Board’s update of its Section 508 Standards for information and communication technology in the federal sector. Dr. Pavithran has served as program director of the Utah Assistive Technology Program and as the director of policy for the Center for Persons with Disabilities at Utah State University since 2011. He has over twenty years of experience developing and testing assistive technology and has lectured and trained extensively on the subject. He is president of the Association of University Centers on Disabilities’ national board and is a member of the National Federation of the Blind where he chairs the Committee on Autonomous Vehicles and Innovations in Transportation. He was appointed to the US Commission on Civil Rights Utah Advisory Committee and has represented the Access Board on the US Elections Assistance Commission’s Board of Advisors.

Key Learning Points & Closing Remarks

JAMES THURSTON, Vice President for Global Strategy & Development, G3ict