Add Us In

Add Us In is a new initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). The initiative is designed to increase the ability of companies to employ both adults and youth with disabilities, particularly businesses owned and operated by African-Americans; Asian-Americans; Latino or Hispanic Americans; members of federally recognized tribes and Native Americans; lesbian, gay, bisexual and transgender individuals; and women.

The objectives of this new initiative are:

  • To increase the ability of targeted businesses to employ adults and youth with disabilities
  • To develop and evaluate replicable models, strategies and policies that would ensure that youth and adults with disabilities from communities that include underrepresented and historically excluded communities have access to a broader range of employment and mentoring opportunities
  • To develop active and sustainable partnerships between targeted businesses, diversity-serving organizations, youth-serving organizations and disability-serving organizations, building a national and local network of experts skilled in serving individuals with disabilities

Small business is the engine of U.S. economic growth, and the data on minority business growth clearly shows that minority-owned and operated firms are a significant contributor to the long-term health of the U.S. economy. If one considers the growth of additional targeted businesses such as those owned and operated by women or individuals with disabilities, then the influence of these businesses is even greater.

Grant Process
Through the Add Us In Initiative, eight consortia are working to identify and develop strategies for connecting small businesses with untapped talent — people with disabilities. Consortium members include representatives of business associations, including targeted business associations, as well as disability, youth, adult, and lesbian, gay, bisexual, and transgender serving organizations.

  • The first cohort of consortia, awarded in September 2010, are led by the following organizations: University of Missouri-Kansas City in Kansas City Missouri
  • Integrated Recovery Network in Los Angeles, California
  • Workplace Inc. in Bridgeport, Connecticut
  • University of Oklahoma in Norman, Oklahoma

In September 2011, the second cohort of consortia received awards. They are led by the following organizations

  • Board of Trustees of the University of Illinois — Chicago in Chicago, Illinois
  • National Organization on Disability in New York, NY
  • TransCen, Inc. in Rockville, Maryland
  • World Institute on Disability in Oakland, California

For more information about Add Us In events, click here.

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Add Us In