National Press Club

Former Sen. Tom Harkin, Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf to link assistive workplace technology, inclusivity, economic growth, Sept. 4

August 30, 2019 | By Tamara Hinton | tamara.hinton@Storypartnersdc.com

Former Sen. Tom Harkin, Internet pioneer Vinton Cerf and other leaders in disability inclusion, technology, and advocacy will discuss how embracing assistive technologies in the workplace and adopting an inclusive mindset will drive U.S. economic growth by employing the nearly 11 million people with disabilities at a National Press Club Headliners event at 10 a.m. Sept. 4.

The event is open to credentialed media and Club members free of charge. Registration is required.

Companies leading the way with inclusive workplaces achieved, on average, “28 percent higher revenue, double the net income and 30 percent higher economic profit margins over the four-year period analyzed,” a recent Accenture report states. The study also found that for each one percent of this population that joins the U.S. labor force, the economy would grow by a net $25 million.

Harkin is the chief sponsor of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 while Vinton Cerf is the winner of the National Medal of Technology and Innovation for founding and developing the internet. They will be joined by others to convene a discussion about the impact potential of this untapped population, and how workplaces can set in motion the necessary culture shift and technology acceleration to make it happen.

Event speakers include:

Tom Harkin, former U.S. senator and author and chief sponsor of the Americans with disabilities Act of 1990.

Vinton Cerf, winner of the U.S. National Medal of Technology and Innovation for founding and developing the Internet.

Gregg Vanderheiden, professor and director of the Trace R&D Center, University of Maryland, and pioneering advocate for access to technology.

Kim Charlson, global advocate for inclusion, serving as executive director of Perkins Library, a division of Perkins School for the Blind, and immediate past president of the American Council of the Blind.

Chet Cooper, leading expert for people with disabilities and founder of ABILITYMagazine.com, abilityJOBS.com, ABILITYJobFair.org and ABILITYCorps.org.

Rob Wong, assistive technology entrepreneur and CEO of Control Bionics, provider of EMG wearable bionics devices.