September 29, 2017
USBLN and Communication Service for the Deaf form strategic alliance

Partnership encourages corporate America to be more inclusive of people with disabilities 

Logo for Communication Service for the Deaf

Washington, D.C. (September 22, 2017) – U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD) are proud to announce a strategic alliance to increase the employment rate for deaf, hard of hearing and deafblind individuals.  

“CSD is pleased to be part of such a powerful alliance, especially given that 70% of deaf people in America are either unemployed or underemployed,” said CSD CEO Christopher Soukup.  “CSD has undertaken numerous strategies to address this dismal statistic head-on, such as tapping into USBLN’s network of companies ready and eager to hire people who are deaf or hard of hearing.” CSD is a national deaf-led nonprofit that provides services and programs to ensure equality among all people, including those who are deaf or hard of hearing. 

As a non-profit business-to-business network, USBLN works with corporations to become disability-inclusive in the workplace, supply chain, and marketplace. The USBLN network currently comprises of over 130 corporations actively advancing their policies and programs for people with disabilities. Through this strategic alliance, both organizations will jointly encourage deaf individuals to participate in business diversity initiatives, as well as leverage their voices in USBLN flagship programs such as the Disability Equality Index® and the Disability Supplier Diversity Program®. 

Since people with disabilities are nearly twice as likely to be self-employed as people without disabilities, another strategy undertaken by both USBLN and CSD will be to encourage deaf individuals to become nationally recognized with a Disability-Owned Business Enterprise® (DOBE®) Certification, bringing resources and opportunities to connect with Fortune 1000 companies. The DOBE Certification is one of three certifications offered by USBLN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program, and ties into CSD’s goal of reducing unemployment/underemployment among deaf people. CSD will also provide consulting to USBLN and its partners on issues facing people who are deaf, ranging from communication to employment and access.

“This partnership holds us true to our commitment to the disability community, for being their trusted voice when speaking to our network of corporations looking to become disabilities inclusive,” said Jill Houghton, USBLN president and CEO. “CSD has had a legacy in working tirelessly in bringing better employment opportunities to people with disabilities. It was a natural decision to form a partnership and, together, commit to reducing the employment gap among deaf people.” 

Please visit www.usbln.org and www.csd.org for more information on USBLN and CSD. 

About the US Business Leadership Network® (USBLN®) 

USBLN (US Business Leadership Network) unites business around disability inclusion in the workplace, supply chain and marketplace. USBLN has more than 130 corporate partners spanning the technology, healthcare, financial, transportation, entertainment, and retail industries. USBLN serves as a collective voice of nearly 50 Business Leadership Network Affiliates across the United States, representing over 5,000 businesses. USBLN has various nationally recognized tools and programs, such as the Disability Equality Index and the leading disability-owned business enterprise (DOBE) certification program, to bridge inclusive companies with people and organizations within the disability community. 

About CSD   

Communication Service for the Deaf (CSD), founded in 1975, is the world’s largest nonprofit organization for deaf and hard of hearing people. CSD offers innovative resources to empower and promote equality among all people, and creates success stories. To learn more, visit www.csd.org. 


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