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.

Next Steps in Employer Practices Policy, Practices, and Research, and Wrap-up

Bio Sketches

Susanne Bruyere Photo

Susanne M. Bruyère, Ph.D., CRC, is Associate Dean of Outreach in the Cornell University ILR School and Director of the Yang-Tan Institute. As Associate Dean of Outreach, Susanne contributes to the development of the School's vision and mission, as well as to the strategic, programmatic, and administrative priorities for the School. She is also responsible for leading the public relations, communications, and marketing functions of the School, promoting visibility for the School's outreach activities and proactively seeking new clients and new external sources of funding for the outreach and research activities of the School. As Director of the Yang-Tan Institute, she is responsible for the strategic and financial direction of a multi- million dollar research, training, technical assistance, and information dissemination organization devoted to improving employment outcomes and inclusive communities for people with disabilities. Professor Bruyere is also currently Project Director and a Co-Principal Investigator of numerous research efforts focused on employment disability nondiscrimination and disability employment policy, funded by numerous federal agencies. Dr. Bruyere is a Fellow in the American Psychological Association, the current Chairperson of the Global Applied Disability Research and Information Network (GLADNET) and CARF (Commission on Accreditation of Rehabilitation Facilities), and Past President of the Division (22) of Rehabilitation Psychology of the American Psychological Association (APA), the National Council on Rehabilitation Education (NCRE), and the American Rehabilitation Counseling Association (ARCA).

Janet LaBreck Photo

Janet LaBreck, M.S, was confirmed by the United States Senate as the Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA), within the United States Department of Education on August of 2013. Prior to this role, Commissioner Janet LaBreck was appointed in 2007 by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick as Commissioner for The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind. In this role, she was responsible for managing a combined $36 Million state and federal budget for The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind (MCB), within the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. She had previously served as Regional Director for MCB from 2001-2007. Commissioner LaBreck had been employed with MCB since 1985 as a CAP Counselor, Independent Living Case Coordinator and Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor. Under her leadership, The Massachusetts Commission for the Blind's award winning internship Program has successfully prepared over 300 individuals for future employment by creating an internship program designed to partner with business with the goal of providing an early work experience for each intern. Commissioner LaBreck obtained her Master's Degree in Rehabilitation Counseling from Springfield College.

Charlie Lakin Photo

K. Charlie Lakin, Ph.D., is Director of National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research, U.S. Department of Education. Mr. Lakin has more than 40 years of experience in services to individuals with disabilities as a teacher, researcher, consultant and advocate. Before coming to NIDRR in 2011, Mr. Lakin was Director of Research and Training Center on Community Living at the University of Minnesota. In his career Mr. Lakin has directed dozens of research and training projects and has authored or co-authored more than 300 publications based on that work. He has consulted frequently with state, federal and international agencies in matters of policy, research and evaluation. Among recognitions for his work are appointments by President Clinton to the President's Committee on Persons with Intellectual Disabilities, the American Association on Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities’ Dybwad Humanitarian Award, the Distinguished Research Award of The Arc of the United States, the Distinguished Service Award of the Association of University Centers on Disability and the University of Minnesota's Outstanding Community Service Award.

Conference Remarks

Susanne Bruyère provides background on intended next steps for research and dissemination activities. Commissioner Janet LaBreck describes her role in partnering in the dissemination of information to state VR agencies and to the technical assistance centers that provide support. NIDRR Director Charlie Lakin closes by providing his perspective on the conference event as a whole and needed next steps.