USBLN Forges New Disability Business Growth Initiative with Local Affiliates
Earlier this year, the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN®) launched the USBLN Affiliate Supplier Diversity Initiative, enlisting affiliates to design and implement proactive strategies to build awareness and increase utilization of disability-owned businesses in local communities. We are excited to announce Wells Fargo, a USBLN Corporate Partner and Founding Partner of the USBLN Disability Supplier DiversityProgram (DSDP®), will provide generous financial support to aid these efforts.
“This new initiative will help propel DSDP to the next level by engaging affiliates at the local level to work with corporations embracing the benefits of disability supplier diversity inclusion and disability-owned businesses ready to be certified by USBLN® and elevate their business in the commercial sector,” said Jill Houghton, President and CEO of USBLN®. “We are thankful to Wells Fargo for their ongoing commitment to USBLN and creating economic opportunity for people with disabilities.”
Since their inception, USBLN® affiliates have made tremendous progress in advancing disability inclusion in the workplace and marketplace in communities across the country. This innovative initiative will support affiliates by helping them grow supplier diversity programming in their BLN, as well as identify local disability-owned businesses who may be eligible to apply for USBLN certification as a Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE®) or Service-Disabled Veteran-Owned Business Enterprise (SDV-DOBE™).
USBLN established its Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP®) in 2010 with the mission to certify and develop DOBEs, as well as help corporations develop supplier diversity programs that are fully inclusive of businesses owned by people with disabilities.
“Wells Fargo is proud of its long-time partnership with the USBLN and pleased to support this Initiative. We’re committed to creating access and opportunity for members of the disability community,” said Regina O. Heyward, Senior Vice President and Head of Supplier Diversity at Wells Fargo. “The affiliates are well-positioned to build awareness and bring together companies and community business organizations in support of disability-owned businesses. When these businesses are given the opportunity, they’re contributors to the economic growth and well-being of our local communities.”
The grants provided by Wells Fargo will help affiliates and their local communities embrace the idea of self-employment and entrepreneurship as another clear path to economic self-sufficiency for people with disabilities, as well as attract companies who are looking to further diversity their supply chain.
USBLN Affiliates participating in the launch of the initiative are:
- Chicagoland BLN
- Connecticut BLN
- DC Metro BLN
- Hawaii BLN
- Massachusetts BLN
- North Carolina BLN
- Ohio BLN
The USBLN looks forward to working with Wells Fargo and all of our corporate partners to create more economic opportunities for people with disabilities and their full inclusion in the workforce, marketplace and supply chain. For more information please contact Patricia Richards, Director, Disability Supplier Diversity Program, USBLN (firstname.lastname@example.org).
DOBE Spotlight Series: iDisability™
iDisability™ is an enterprise-wide eLearning solution. It was developed in a partnership between Joyce Bender and Andrew Houghton, both USBLN Certified DOBEs, and DOBE Host Committee Members.
DOBE Spotlight Series: Mona Lisa Faris
Mona Lisa Faris, the publisher of DiversityComm, originally planned to be a professor of intracultural communication and public speaking when she realized she needed to make an important decision: start a teaching fellowship, or take an entrepreneurial path and begin publishing a newsletter on diversity.
DOBE Spotlight Series: Pat Graves, Caption First
Caption First, a USBLN® Certified DOBE™, has been providing real time captioning services for almost 30 years. The company is dedicated to delivering communication alternatives for people who are deaf, hard of hearing, or have trouble with comprehension and fluency.
Information Guide for Service-Disabled Veteran and Veteran Disability-Owned Businesses
There are approximately 57 million people with disabilities in the U.S., and they’re nearly twice as likely to be self-employed. With initiatives like the USBLN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP), they also have the ability to achieve greater economic success and independence.
DOBE Spotlight Series: Matt Hempel
Agilitech Solutions LLC, a USBLN® Certified SDV-DOBE™ and VA Verified Service Disabled Veteran Owned Small Business, was formed to address the critical issues of web accessibility for the disabled community. It provides automated web accessibility solutions that work with a single line of code.