october 22nd–23rd, 2013 | washington, d.c.

Innovative Research on Employer Practices:
Improving Employment for People with Disabilities

A state of the science conference from the Rehabilitation and Research Training Center on Employer Practices Related to Employment Outcomes among Individuals with Disabilities. This two-day event highlighted the research findings from the Employer Practices Rehabilitation Research and Training Center at Cornell University ILR School's Yang-Tan Institute. It was a great success! Check back for reports and proceedings of the conference.

Day Two Keynote Speaker

Bio Sketches

Ann Cody Photo

Ann Cody, M.S., is the Director of Policy and Global Outreach for BlazeSports America, she oversees the Washington, D.C. office, develops relationships with major national and international partners, shapes the organization's policy efforts, and supports its international development initiatives. As a Washington veteran and Paralympic sport expert of two decades, Ann has extensive knowledge and experience in federal policy and advocacy, governmental and international affairs, sports management and governance, community-based sports, and international development. Ann is widely known and respected throughout the world as a leader in sport and human rights. She has led a number of national and international advocacy initiatives on sport with a focus on girls and women with disabilities. Through her leadership, the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) established a policy on gender equity and several initiatives aimed at increasing participation by women in Paralympic sport and the movement. Ann's significant international sport network and project experience anchors BlazeSports' international programs in Africa, Asia, the Caribbean, and the Middle East. Ann serves on the International Paralympic Committee (IPC) Governing Board and is the highest ranking American and highest ranking woman in the IPC worldwide. She is a member of the International Olympic Committee 2018 Evaluation Commission. Ann holds a bachelor of fine arts and a Master of Science degree in leisure studies and therapeutic recreation from the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign. She is a Paralympic Gold Medalist in Athletics and competed on three U.S. Paralympic Teams (Basketball '84, Athletics '88, '92). Prior to joining BlazeSports Ann served as a Vice President with B&D Consulting where she designed federal affairs strategies for amateur sports, health, cities, and disability-related organizations and provided representation before the United States Congress and the Executive Branch. Ann received a Master of Science Degree in Therapeutic Recreation from the University of Illinois at Urbana - Champaign.

Conference Remarks

Ann Cody, a former Para-Olympian, discusses her experiences with Blaze Sports America, the legacy organization of the 1996 Atlanta Paralympic Games, and developing young people with disabilities. For the past 15 years Blaze Sports America has worked with local communities to develop their capacity to grow sporting opportunities for children and young adult with physical disabilities. Ann connects the significance of developing the Paralympic Games and sport opportunities to employment for people with disabilities.

Questions and Answers

Question, Lynn Gerald, U. S. Department of Health and Human Services:

You gave a great slide that there are 200 programs across the United States for a person to grow active in sports with a disability. How do we find those programs in our local areas?

Answer, Ann Cody:

Okay, great. I have an answer for that. So U. S. Paralympics, which is a division of the U. S. Olympic Committee, has a website. And if you just do a Google search for paralympic sport clubs, it'll bring you to a link to that page.

And then you can type in your zip code or your city and state. And it'll show you all the programs in that city or state. And then you can go from there to figure that out.

Answer, Elizabeth Milito:

I caution business owners, because you said something, and I apologize if I misquote you. But I think it was free interns, that is a problematic term, because I also do wage and hour compliance issues with our members.

I would never say to a business owner that you can get free interns, because you can get in a heck of a lot of trouble with another alphabet soup agency here in Washington with free interns. There are ways to go about it, but it can be tricky.

There are a lot of I's you have to dot, a lot of T's you have to cross to have a successful program.

Question, Susanne M. Bruyère:

Is there an interest, are you looking for new sponsors of programs as well, you know?

Answer, Ann Cody:

So the local programs, absolutely. At the Paralympic and Olympic level there's a sponsor category, an Olympic sponsor category, which has very exclusive rights are given to companies in the different categories.

Now, I think all those categories are full right now in terms of the airline, the hotel, the automobile, all of those different categories of sponsors.

But at the local level and the state level, organizations like BlazeSports would absolutely be open to that and be able to work with you. And we do, actually, work with several corporations on very specific targeted programs, like our veteran disability support programs and our youth programs.

Comment, Susanne M. Bruyère:

Great. Other questions or comments? Maggie, Gil?