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ODEP - Office of Disability Employment Policy

Disability Employment Policy Resources by Topic


Add Us In Consortia

Add Us In logo


Add Us In is a signature initiative sponsored by the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP). Add Us In grantees seek to identify and develop strategies that increase the ability of small businesses, including those located in or serving underrepresented and historically excluded communities, to employ adults and youth with disabilities. Each site operates as a collaborative consortium with members representing business associations, local workforce investment boards, and local government as well as non-governmental organizations serving diverse populations. Funding for Add Us In began with four consortia in 2010, and an additional four sites were funded in 2011:

  1. The Los Angeles, California consortium focuses on former gang members and individuals recently out of jail who have disabilities. They are working closely with business partners including Homeboy Industries and the Los Angeles County Business Federation, an association of a broad range of Los Angeles chambers of commerce, trade groups, economic development centers, and business associations.
    To learn more about the Los Angeles, California Consortium, please contact Marsha Temple at
  2. The Southwest Connecticut consortium is working to change the culture of the workforce development and vocational rehabilitation systems to better accommodate and serve job seekers with disabilities, including LGBT job seekers with disabilities.
    To learn more about the Southwest Connecticut Consortium, please contact Deborah Venditti at
  3. The Kansas City, Missouri consortium focuses on providing a continuum of career opportunities, including opportunities for urban youth with disabilities including African American youth with disabilities. Their business partners include the Greater Kansas City Black Chamber of Commerce, the Greater Kansas City Chamber of Commerce, and the Greater Kansas City Business Leadership Network, all of whom have been active and engaged contributors.
    To learn more about the Kansas City, Missouri Consortium, please contact Derrick Willis at
  4. The Central Oklahoma consortium seeks to impact a number of diverse populations, including: minorities; LGBT communities; women; tribal populations, and people with disabilities. The consortium is one of the largest with more than 15 partner organizations/associations and is an active member in several Oklahoma business associations and chambers of commerce including the Capitol Chamber, the Hispanic Chamber, the El Reno Chamber, and the Norman Chamber.
    To learn more about the Central Oklahoma Consortium, please contact Annie H. Baghdayan at
  5. The Chicago, Illinois consortium focuses on youth who have become disabled as a result of violence-induced spinal cord injuries, often due to gang involvement. Working with their partner, FEDEJAL, a federation of Mexican small business owners and regional clubs, they will recruit volunteer businesses to mentor participating youth in the development of a business plan to start their own small businesses.
    To learn more about the Chicago, Illinois Consortium, please contact Shawn Dimpfl at
  6. The New York/New Jersey consortium which will serve northern New Jersey and New York City's LGBTI-, minority-, and women-owned businesses who seek to build a more inclusive workplace by hiring and promoting people with disabilities. Business partners in the consortium include the NYC LGBT Chamber of Commerce, the African American Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, the Statewide Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of New Jersey, and the New Jersey Chamber of Commerce.
    To learn more about the New York/New Jersey Consortium, please Joanne Kaiser at
  7. The Rockville, Maryland consortium focuses on youth and young adults, including those with Hispanic backgrounds, in education programs and provides them with job preparation, job matching, work-based experience, and case management. Additionally, the consortium support local businesses in gaining an understanding the resources available to employ youth with disabilities from underrepresented communities. Their business partners include the Hispanic Chamber of Commerce of Montgomery County and the Hispanic Business Foundation of Maryland, Inc.
    To learn more about the Rockville, Maryland Consortium, please contact Amy Dwyre at
  8. The World Institute on Disability-led California consortium focuses on testing the current theory of success of internships as a “port of entry” to the workforce. With a network of targeted business, industry associations, and diversity chambers of commerce, they seek to illuminate best practices, challenges, and gaps. Their current business partner is the National Gay and Lesbian Chamber of Commerce.
    To learn more about the California Consortium, please contact Loretta Harrington at

For more information about Add Us In contact:
Day Al-Mohamed, Senior Policy Advisor at