Disability Smart Events: Welcoming not Simply Accommodating

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Disability Smart Events: Welcoming not Simply Accommodating Accessible Planning for Conferences, Workshops, Galas, Staff Meetings

About this Event

Discover tips for increasing facility and program accessibility. The session will highlight new and emerging trends in providing an inclusive experience for people with disabilities, establish a basic checklist of considerations to be addressed, and discuss how the introduction of these solutions can increase participation in community and workplace events. Participants in this webinar will feel confident in proactively addressing barriers for people with disabilities. This webinar is part of a series of topics. To view other webinars in the series go to Disability, Inclusion & Access: Moving Forward.

Accessibility Statement

The FISA Foundation and Bender Consulting Services are committed to delivering inclusive training, in a format that allows for all participants to consume content and interact with an accessible technology platform. All materials associated with each session are available in an accessible format, and may include Microsoft Word, Microsoft PowerPoint, and Adobe PDF files. During each live session, real-time captioning is available through our partner, Caption First; an open caption window is provided during the session. For screen reader users, please contact for tips to optimize participation and interaction during the session.

Webinar Speaker Bios

Mary Brougher – Webinar Series Facilitator

Mary holds over 25 years of experience in the disability inclusion, employment and accessibility industry, with operational leadership experience over human resources, contracts, corporate consulting, product development and digital accessibility solutions. In her role, she has driven disability employment programs and has developed strategic plans for private and public sector brands. As Bender Consulting’s COO, may leads four product areas, including consulting, training, talent programs and software solutions. She has provided perspective relative to affirmative action for individuals with disabilities (Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act), digital accessibility (Section 508 and W3C WCAG 2.1 AA), accommodations, workplace engagement, and national strategic disability partnerships. Mary serves on the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation State Board, the advisory board for the Disability:IN/AAPD Disability Equality Index and the Bender Leadership Academy board. Prior to joining Bender, Mary worked for Highmark, Inc., ENSYS, and MKI, Inc. where she supported technical and business solutions. She holds Bachelor of Science degrees in Computer Science and Economics from the University of Pittsburgh.

Gerald Homme - Trainer

Gerald has supported Bender Consulting Services’ talent programs product area’s recruitment functions for the last decade. He is the lead for the Careers2B program, an innovative program that connects early career talent with disabilities to corporations for the purpose of developing competencies and experience relevant to the open marketplace. The program is designed to apply a participant’s training and education to hands-on work experiences that allows the participants to develop skills and competencies that close the employment gap for people with disabilities and the non-disabled workforce. In addition to his work as a recruiter, Gerald supports the testing and remediation processes for document accessibility and acts as a technical resource for iDisability, an eLearning training solution that offers 38 modules on various disability inclusion and engagement topics. iDisability has been adopted in a number of industries including financial, manufacturing, healthcare and technology. Gerald is the head of the Bender Lead On Team and is a volunteer and guest presenter for the Bender Leadership Academy. He has also been a guest speaker for the ROAR National Supplier Diversity Event in Pittsburgh, The Epilepsy Association of Western and Central PA Youth Leadership Summit, and the 2019 Career Transitions Event at Duquesne University. Prior to joining Bender Consulting Services, Inc., Gerald attended Duquesne University’s music technology and composition program.

Sherry Lapaglia - Trainer

Sherry has over 15 years of experience supporting disability talent program development. She currently serves as the manager of the talent programs product area for Bender Consulting Services, Inc. Her expertise includes building partnerships with disability community organizations and support services, implementing effective talent screening and acquisition processes with a focus on identifying top talent with disabilities, and adult and youth training program curriculum development for live and eLearning environments. This includes content development for iDisability modules and communications assets. iDisability is a scalable and sustainable eLearning product brought to market by Bender Consulting Services, Inc. and Disability Inclusions Solutions. It currently reaches a global audience of nearly 3 million business users. Sherry also supports disability inclusion recruitment contracts within both the federal and private sectors by assisting with account management functions. She received a Bachelor of Arts with majors in history and creative writing from Carlow University. Sherry supports the Bender Leadership Academy in a volunteer capacity.

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