Disability employment is focus of ADA anniversary celebration
Washington, DC - Assistant Secretary Dr Roy Grizzard, head of the Labor Department's Office of Disability Employment Policy (ODEP), recently participated in a celebration of the fifteenth anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA). The event included workshops on disability-related issues and panelists discussing job candidate education, preparation and support, workforce conditions and employer expectations.
Grizzard is a leading authority on disability employment issues. He reported on ODEP's efforts to help employers take advantage of the strengths and skills of people with disabilities as a source of qualified, reliable workers.
October was national disability employment awareness month, with the theme of "Workers with disabilities: ready for tomorrow's jobs today."
Secretary of Labor Elaine L. Chao notes that "This year's theme emphasizes that people with disabilities are a vital part of America's workforce, important to our country's future economic success."
ODEP is an assistant secretary-level office addressing policies that impact the employment of people with disabilities. Its mission is to develop research-based policy that lowers barriers to employment for youth and adults with disabilities.
High-tech masters degree for free
Rochester, NY - Deaf or hard-of-hearing people with a bachelors degree are invited to apply to the professional fellowship program at the National Technical Institute for the Deaf (NTID, www.rit.edu/NTID) a college of Rochester Institute of Technology.
The program offers study toward a masters degree in a professional or technical field with a full tuition waiver, free housing in a single room in a residence hall and a $15,000 annual stipend as compensation for a career-related part-time job.
Deaf and hard-of-hearing applicants must be U.S. citizens and be accepted into a two- or three-year masters degree program at RIT to be eligible. An application and other required materials must be received by the professional fellowship program selection committee by February 15, 2006 for admission next fall.
For information or application materials contact the NTID office of outreach and technical assistance, 585-475-6433 (voice/TTY) or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Freddie Mac exec helps launch new BDPA chapter
McLean, VA - With company support, executives at home mortgage underwriter Freddie Mac are helping to start a Northern Virginia chapter of Black Data Processing Associates (BDPA). Joe Smialowski, Freddie Mac exec VP of ops and technology and a longtime BDPA supporter, along with Freddie Mac IT manager and BDPA member Gary Simms, recently formed a committee to explore the idea.
The committee invited BDPA president Wayne Hicks and founder Earl Pace to a reception this past summer at Freddie Mac HQ. About eighty people attended, including CIOs and diversity reps from tech-heavy companies that included Resolvit Resources, GTSI, AOL, MCI, Verizon, Integrated Systems Analysts and SI International. They heard from Hicks and Pace about the benefits of BDPA membership.
"There seemed to be a need for a chapter in the Northern Virginia tech corridor," Smialowski says. "We've had support from the Washington, DC chapter and people at Freddie Mac and other companies."
Smialowski joined Freddie Mac in December 2004 after several years in a similar position at Fleet Boston Financial, which was recently acquired by Bank of America. The company was an active BDPA supporter, and while he was there, Smialowski helped start up BDPA chapters in Providence, RI and Albany, NY.
He hopes to encourage the new chapter to establish a relationship with the IT Senior Management Forum, which helps prepare minority IT pros to move into CIO positions. He'll also try to foster connections for the new chapter with Freddie Mac's supplier diversity program and the Virginia Minority Supplier Development Council.
Mouse adapter compensates for hand tremor
New York, NY - IBM and Montrose Secam Limited, a small British electronics company, have collaborated to develop and market a computer mouse adapter that filters out shaking movements of the hand.
The adapter is available at www.montrosesecam.com. It can be used with any PC and operating system. The self-contained adapter plugs in between the computer and the mouse, and can be switched on or off and adjusted depending on tremor severity.
The developers note that the device will help workers with disabilities maximize employment opportunities and let older workers stay on the job longer.
IBM wins EEOC "freedom to compete" award
Armonk, NY - IBM has received a "freedom to compete" award from the Equal Employment Opportunity Commission (EEOC) for its Project View programs. Project View is an initiative to recruit college grads who are underrepresented minorities, women and people with disabilities.
Historically, the program has been responsible for placing about half of IBM's university and professional hires from underrepresented groups. About 75 percent of the Project View hires are technical.
IBM is one of six organizations honored with the freedom to compete award. The five other winners are PK USA (Shelbyville, IN); Giant Eagle, Inc (Pittsburgh, PA); the national Minority Corporate Counsel Association; Horizon Blue Cross Blue Shield of New Jersey; and the State of Maryland.
Clifford M. Clarke named CIO, CTO for Fort Wayne
Fort Wayne, IN - Clifford M. Clarke has been named chief information officer/chief technology officer for the City of Fort Wayne, IN. He is now responsible for the technology strategies of the second largest city in Indiana.
Clarke has more than twenty years of experience in the IT field. Before coming to Fort Wayne, he was an assistant VP at Lincoln Financial Group, where he worked in the technology services group. His career started at GM.
Clarke completed an MBA last year and holds a BS degree in data processing from Indiana Institute of Technology.
Tavis Smiley, ExxonMobil boost STEM with minority kids
Washington, DC - The ExxonMobil Foundation and the Tavis Smiley Foundation have formed a partnership to help minority students get more interested in science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) professions.
Kicking off the "talented tenth" high school tour, media personality and author Tavis Smiley and ExxonMobil advanced engineer Dr Kenneth Lee spoke to fifty students at Anacostia High School (Washington, DC) on September 9. The tour encourages the kids to develop the skills they'll need for STEM careers.
"I've often said the key to success begins with exposure to opportunities, education and ideas," says Smiley. "This tour represents that exposure."
The tour stops at a number of cities nationwide before ending in Houston, TX in mid-November.