It's a Big DEAL 2017!

  • August 23, 2017

Tickets to #DEAL2017 Now on Sale

Inclusion and technology are inextricably linked. That's why the theme for this year's Disability Employment Awareness Luncheon is using the connection of inclusion and technology to make workplaces more accessible for people with disabilities. For it's 4th Annual DEAL, Disability Rights Tennessee is honored to welcome, Megan Lawrence, Accessible Technical Evangelist, with Microsoft on October 24th. 

Megan Lawrence Microsoft"When brainstorming keynote speakers and considering what perspective has been missing from this conversation, technology was the first idea that came to mind," states Lisa Primm, DRT Executive Director. "We were impressed with the program that Microsoft has developed to employ more people with disabilities, and with their commitment to creatingr technology that is accessible to everyone."

This is where Lawrence, who has worked with the disability community for over 13 years conducting research and development, plays a critical role by providing accessibility solutions and ensuring that users with disabilities are an integrated part of the design, development, and testing process. She brings together the disability community and key stakeholders to provide a feedback loop to make products and services accessible to the greatest number of people possible.

"One of the concerns that we hear from employers, particularly as we work with assisting Vocational Rehabilitation (VR) clients navigate returning to work, is whether employees with disabilities will be able to use the technology they already have in place," shares Primm. "This is an opportunity to see how everyday software, like Outlook and PowerPoint, can be made accessible. I am confident that we will all walk away understanding the role technology has in making competitive employment a reality for Tennesseans with disabilities."

In addition to hearing from Lawrence, the audience will hear three employment success stories, among them AutoZone and Ryman Hospitalities. DRT will announce the recipients Freedom Awards at the event.

The goal of DRT’s Disability Employment Awareness Luncheon is to increase awareness about and commitment to Employment First as a sustainable business policy and provide additional funding for the agency’s advocacy and policy initiatives. Nearly 300 business, nonprofit, and government leaders are expected at this year's DEAL, which will be held at Music City Center. Once again, DRT counts on the partnership of two key state leaders in improving the employment outcomes: the Department of Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities (DIDD) and the Department of Education (DOE). 

Reserve your spot today and join us on October 24th! Together we can make Employment First a reality for all.