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.

Welcome and Overview


Bio Sketches

Susanne Bruyere Photo

Susanne 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).

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.

 Ruth Brannon's Photo

Ruth Brannon, MSPH, MA, is the Director of the Division of Research Sciences at the National Institute on Disability and Rehabilitation Research (NIDRR). NIDRR is located in the Office of Special Education and Rehabilitative Services (OSERS) in the Department of Education. NIDRR is a leading funder of disability and rehabilitation research. At NIDRR, she is responsible for overseeing a research portfolio that covers three domains: health and function; participation and community living; and employment. NIDRR is working closely with agencies within OSERs and across the government to improve the employment outcomes of individuals with disabilities. Her research training is in public health, and she previously served as the Disability Director for the Washington Business Group on Health. She has over 30 years of experience in research administration and in conducting research related to delivery of health and rehabilitation services and improved employment outcomes for individuals with disabilities.

Conference Remarks

These opening remarks by NIDRR and Cornell University representatives are designed to introduce the two-fold objective of the Employer Practices Rehabilitation Research and Training Center to identify employer practices associated with desired successful employment outcomes for people with disabilities, and to further help shape society so that it is better able to welcome, accommodate, and provide opportunities to people with disabilities. The speakers also explain the role of NIDRR-funded research more broadly to identify individual factors that impact a person's decision to seek employment, and additional research conducted to monitor hiring and retention rates.