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2020 Dive In Festival – Lifeworks Presentation

September 23 @ 11:30 am - 1:00 pm

Director of Program Services, Susan Winterfeld Thompson, and Disability Inclusion Consultant, Ashley Oolman, will represent Lifeworks at this year’s Dive In Festival – a global movement in the insurance sector to support inclusive workplace cultures. On September 23, they will facilitate a discussion on Disability Inclusion and the why accessible, flexible policies are the key to helping everyone work better.


About the roundtable:

Disability Inclusion: Radical, Rapid, Response to the “New Normal”

Disability Inclusion requires a radical and intentional shift in our mindset. Inclusive, accessible, flexible workplaces and policies are the key to helping everyone work better. Join a group of advocates discussing how the pandemic has changed our workplaces resulting in a “new normal” and opening employment doors that the disabled community has been knocking on for years. We will hear from employees with disabilities and their managers on best practices. We’ll also share how effective corporate disability inclusion programs are structured and explore new trends.

Our introductory panel discussion will feature Ashley Oolman, a leading advocate and practitioner in the Twin Cities for disability inclusion. She will be joined by Stacy Greenfield, Inclusion & Diversity from Willis Towers Watson & Jim McMahon who leads Travelers Disability efforts. A variety of topics discussed will lead into two additional panels.

Ashley will host our “Why be Inclusive” discussion featuring Chris Gramentz, who manages Travelers Claim Counsel Business Resource Center, a team that has flipped its recruitment model on its head and heavily recruited employees with disabilities. By embracing what makes us different, Chris will share insights on the benefits to the business and be accompanied by one of his employees discussing the personal impact.

During our second panel discussion, Stacy will be joined by Marci Jasper, Business Consultant from the MN Dept. of Economic Development, Rehabilitative Services and Susan Winterfeld Thompson, Director of Program Services for Lifeworks, a nonprofit founded by families who recognize the importance of advocacy and removing barriers for people with disabilities to be part of the community. Together, they have partnered on bringing disability programs to Fortune 500 employers.

Finally, representatives from each panel will conclude by discussing this question: This year marks the 30th anniversary of the signing of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). How can the “new normal” result in opening employment doors that the disabled community has been knocking on for years?

Learn more about the festival: https://bit.ly/2G7eCfG


September 23
11:30 am - 1:00 pm