2019 Disability Numbers in the Workplace
Persons with Disabilities in the Workplace
Unemployment Rate for Persons w/Disability
Estimated Annual Earnings for Person w/Disability in Michigan

Session II:
Inclusive Hiring Practices

Over 21.4 % of today's workforce in the U.S. consists of persons with a disability who represent a significant and largely underutilized resource for businesses. Many disabled persons are underemployed or unemployed.  With more attention now on the disability community and a shrinking labor pool, employers are taking a serious look at hiring and retaining persons with disabilities. ​ 
Program Overview
Thank you to those who were able to join us on Wednesday, February 13, 2019 for Session II: Inclusive Hiring Practices of the MiDEC Disability Education Series.  At this session, we continued our discussion from Session I: Creating a Safe and Inclusive Environment and took part in an in-depth discussion centered on inclusive hiring practices for persons with disabilities.  Attendees took part in a panel discussion along with a great presentation on the Five Myths of the ADA and went on a video tour with our friends at Able Eyes.  We also:

  • Heard from Keynote Speaker Lucia Rios who shared her personal and professional experiences and why she does not like the 'D' word
  • Learned how to Increase your organization’s ability to effectively recruit, hire and retain individuals with disabilities
  • Took a virtual tour with Meegan Winters from Able Eyes, on how they capture real life experiences from several perspectives for the purpose of teaching, exploring, and reducing anxiety of the unknown
  • Gained awareness on how your organization’s commitment to including individuals with disabilities as a valued segment of the workforce may encourage existing employees to discloses their own disabilities (creating a true environment of inclusiveness)
  • Heard from a great line-up of panelists on what their personal experiences as a person with a disability are when seeking employment
  • Learned what the top FIve Myths of the Amercians with Disabilities Act of 1990 are and what you really need to know​​

Meet Your Session Two Presenters

Lucia Rios, Keynote Speaker
The Source, Grand Rapids, MI 
Scott Derthick
Peckham, Inc.
Meegan Winters
Able Eyes
Lucia Rios was born with
spina bifida and grew-up in West Michigan in a close-knit family who did not see her disability as a limitation, but encouraged her to participate in every
aspect of life. Currently, Lucia is an active freelance writer, and serves as the Resource Navigator at The Source, Grand Rapids, MI, where she enjoys her work in advocacy, training, and speaking.
Meegan Winters is the Co-Founder/CEO of Able Eyes, which uses 360 virtual tours and and virtual reality technology as an accessibility tool for individuals with disabilities.  She has almost 20-years experience working in the field, and 11-years as a special educator and administrator, as a teacher for children on the Autism Spectrum. Her lifelong passion for helping others, was the driving force in creating Able Eyes.
Scott Derthick leads an incredibly talented and dedicated group of HR staff at Peckham Inc., a leader when it comes to hiring persons with disabilities.  Scott plays a critical role in helping to develop and steer Peckham's unique 'company culture'.  He holds a bachelors and masters of science and a masters of art degrees from Michigan State University and started at Peckham in 1991.
Stacy Hickox
Michigan State University
Tedi Parsons
The Professionals Forum/MiDEC
Tedi formed the Michigan Disability Empowerment Coalition (MiDEC) in 2016, which focuses on ensuring all persons with disabilities have access to gainful and equitable employment.  Working closely with his amazing Council Members and regional partners, MiDEC is on a mission to change the world. Additionally, Tedi is the President of The Professionals Forum, located in Lansing, MI.
Stacy A. Hickox, Esq., Associate Professor
Michigan State University - School of Human Resources and Labor Relations, will provide an overview of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA), making sure you are up-to-date on what your organization really needs to know to ensure you are compliant and providing all the necessary accommodations for employees with disabilities.
Event Partners