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Employer Assistance & Resource Network on Disability Inclusion (EARN): A service of The Viscardi Center.
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Employer Spotlight
The Employer Spotlight describes employers' successful practices for outreach, recruitment, hiring, and accommodating workers with disabilities.

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Fostering an Inclusive Environment for Employees with Disabilities

Description: Dana Foote, Audit Partner at KPMG, talks about her own experience with disability and the role that business leaders can play in creating a workplace in which employees are comfortable disclosing disabilities.

Transcript: Fostering an Inclusive Environment for Employees with Disabilities

Dana Foote: I was diagnosed with multiple sclerosis my third year in public accounting, and it was a shocker, and a lot of the people in my start class, they knew that, oh, Dana's going to be the partner. She's the one that's going to go on and be the partner because from day one, that was what I wanted to do. And so to learn that I had MS was, you know, I'm not going to make it, you know. And so I stepped back about six months into it and said, you know, that's not true. I can manage this. I can do this, and I'm going to move forward. I disclosed to very, very few people because I didn't want to be held back from a disability perspective and people thinking I didn't have the ability to be a partner. So I hid it. I made excuses for being absent from work. I remember having IV's in my arm, and they have little IV pumps you can stick up your sleeve and no one would see. I mean, I did the most unique, strange, crazy, in hindsight things, and I didn't want people to feel that way. So if I had some numbness in my legs, and I was tripping or stumbling, you know, there was always an excuse. And to me, I'd much rather have people empowered to talk about it so that they, you know, we can recognize that, help them along the way, and I also feel that people with disabilities are much more connected and much more dedicated to their employer because if you give to me, I'll give back to you at 120, 150 percent.

Enabling Employee Success through Accommodations

Description: Shaun Kelly, Vice Chair of Operations for KPMG, talks about how accommodations for employees with disabilities are just like any other organizational practice that enables employees to be successful in the workplace.

Transcript: Fostering an Inclusive Environment for Employees with Disabilities

Shaun Kelly: I started with the firm in Dublin. I first came to the U.S. on a two-year rotation. So I'd never been out of Ireland before.Ended up in our office in San Francisco, and there was a whole support program around enabling me to transition. So, you know, briefing me on what accounting rules were different. Some of the cultural things. We had, you know, classes in Dublin around U.S. business practices. All of those accommodations were to enable me to move from Ireland to be successful in the U.S. because KPMG had decided having people with global perspective really added value. I look at it exactly the same as we look at making accommodations for people with disabilities.