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Today’s the day! The U.S. Business Leadership Network, a national B2B disability organization, is launching a soft pilot of a new certification program for disability-owned businesses. Yes, you heard it right: The BLN’s new Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE) certification program will certify companies that undergo a rigorous application process and meet strict criteria, including being 51 percent or more owned and operated by a disabled person, including service-disabled veterans. According to John Kemp, BLN’s executive director, the DOBE program is the first of its kind, and will be accepted as the “gold standard” by which U.S. companies, federal and government agencies make corporate supply chain and procurement decisions. The program is modeled off the Women-Owned Business Enterprise, a program run by the Women’s Business Enterprise National Council that’s is recognized by more than 1,000 U.S. companies. Business Leadership Network has affiliates around the country. DOBE certification is a great resource for corporations ... keep reading »
In the last couple of years, U.S. corporations have been paying a lot more attention to the 54 million adults–nearly 20% of the nation’s population–that have mental or physical disabilities. And with 6.3% of American children between the ages of 5 and 15 suffering from a disability, companies are also focusing on working parents who care for them. It’s to their benefit: Employers suffer lost productivity when workers take time off to tend to the needs of affected children and adult offspring. According to BusinessWeek, in what have become the latest benefit programs, companies including PepsiCo, KPMG, JPMorgan Chase, and Northrop Grumman are offering services that range from parent networks to Web seminars to meetings with financial planners and educational consultants. In addition, a growing crop of advisers is emerging to guide families through the financial, medical, and educational labyrinth. Outside of corporate programs, specialty units such as Merrill Lynch’s ... keep reading »

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