Building Back Better for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Transforming California's Approach to Disability Employment

Building Back Better for Diversity, Equity and Inclusion: Transforming California's Approach to Disability Employment

As California recovers from the economic crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state must reshape the labor market with a new vision for the inclusion and equity of people with disabilities. California must embrace this moment to be a leader in the employment of its diverse population and take transformational steps to ensure all have access to meaningful employment in the new California economy.

Building Back Better For Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access:
Transforming California’s Approach To Disability Employment

In January 2021, President Biden began his term as the 46th President of the United States.  He has made clear that one of his top priorities will be to rebuild our economy in the wake of the pandemic in a manner that is more just, more inclusive, more equitable, and more resilient than the economy we had going into the pandemic.  He calls this initiative “Building Back Better.”

Disability Rights California has been working with partners for years to promote an economy that is open and accessible to all people with all types of disabilities, including people from intersectional communities and people who have significant support needs.  As California recovers from the economic crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic, the state must reshape the labor market with new vision for the inclusion and equity of people with disabilities. Our goals include:

  • Increase labor market participation for people with disabilities.
  • Close the gap in service disparities for Black, Indigenous and communities of color.
  • Ensure people with disabilities can participate in program design, policy decisions, and California’s economic recovery efforts.
  • Increase access to a living wage for people with disabilities.
  • Increase opportunities for work-based learning from an early age.
  • Increase access to employment supports for people who need them.

We cannot achieve these goals without the engagement of California’s diverse disability community and our allies.

The Building Back Better for Diversity Equity, Inclusion and Access Coalition invites you to join us in Transforming California’s Approach to Disability Employment by:

For more information about the Building Back Better For Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Access Coalition, please contact Rebecca.Hoyt@disabilityrightsca.org. For information in Spanish, please contact Vanessa.Ochoa@disbailityrightsca.org.

 

Building Back Better for the Nation (Full Videos)

National leaders set forth their vision for building a more equitable, inclusive, and just workforce in our economic recovery from COVID-19. 

Part 1

Introduction by Andy Imparato, Executive Director, Disability Rights California and Land Acknowledgment by Jesse Lara, Multicultural Affairs Advocate, Disability Rights California

Part 2

Senator Alex Padilla, United States Senate

Part 3

Kimberly Knackstedt, Director of Disability Policy for the Domestic Policy Council at The White House

Part 4

Alison Barkoff, Acting Administrator and Assistant Secretary for Aging, Administration for Community Living

Part 5

Panel Discussion:
Taryn Williams, Managing Director, Poverty to Prosperity Program, Center for American Progress
Liz Weintraub, Senior Advocacy Specialist, Association of University Centers on Disabilities
Andy Imparato, Executive Director, Disability Rights California (Moderator)

Part 6

Congresswoman Katie Porter, United States House of Representatives

Part 7

Eric Harris, Director of Public Policy, Disability Rights California introducing Congresswoman Barbara Lee, United States House of Representatives. Break out room introduction by Pamela Cohen, California Department of Fair Employment and Housing

Part 8

Closing remarks by Susan Senior, Department of Rehabilitation, Regional Manager Los Angeles South Bay District

 

Building Back Better for the State (Full Videos)

Hear from state leaders and participate in setting an agenda to make California the best state in the country for the employment of people with disabilities.

Part 1

Introduction by Eric Harris, Director of Public Policy, Disability Rights California. Keynote Governor Gavin Newsom, Governor of California

Part 2

Senator Sydney Kamlager, California State Senate

Part 3

Kevin Kish, Director, Department of Fair Employment and Housing

Part 4

Secretary Mark Ghaly, California Health and Human Services Agency

Part 5

Panel Discussion:
Moderator - Nancy Bargmann, Director, California Department of Developmental Services
Kim McCoy Wade, Director, Department of Aging
Dr. Olivia Raynor, University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, Tarjan Center at UCLA
Wesley Witherspoon, State Council on Developmental Disabilities
Joe Xavier, Director, Department of Rehabilitation
Heather Calomese, Director of Special Education for the California Department of Education

Part 6

Senator María Elena Durazo, California State Senate

Part 7

Mayor Libby Schaaf, Mayor of Oakland and breakout room introduction by Vivian Haun, Senior Attorney, Disability Rights California

Part 8

Senator Dave Cortese, California State Senate and closing by Philip Leung, Sacramento Municipal Utility District

 

Building Back Better for the Business Community (Full Videos)

This session features business leaders in diversity, equity, and inclusion.

Part 1

Introductions by Steve Ruder, Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities, UC Davis MIND Institute and Tania Morawiec, Deputy Director of Planning and Regional Office Operations
Keynote speaker: Mala Singh, Chief People Officer for Electronic Arts

Part 2

Panel Discussion:
Moderator - David Fazio, Founder and President, Helix Opportunity Inc.
Laura Gomez, Founding Partner for Proyecto Solace
Daniel Ellerman, Director of Global Inclusion and Diversity for Mars, Inc.
Laurie Rodriguez, Director of Human Resources, Diversity & Inclusion for Sacramento Municipal Utility District (SMUD)
Kaitlyn Nader, Senior Director for Education and Community Engagement, Grammy Museum
Intro to breakout groups by Robert Chavez, South Bay Workforce Investment Board

Part 3

Otto Lana, Founder of Ottosmottos

Part 4

Fireside Chat:
Facilitator: Connie Chu, Managing Attorney, Disability Rights California
Catherine Nichols, Senior Director of Accessibility Programs, Office of Accessibility, Salesforce
Jenny Lay-Flurrie, Chief Accessibility Officer for Microsoft

 

Building Back Better for the Future (Full Videos)

Join us as we highlight young leaders, advocates, and activists working in, and for a more inclusive world.

Part 1

Introduction and moderators by Vanessa Ochoa, SPACE Advisor, Disability Rights California and Christina Fleeton, Advocate, Disability Rights California
Keynote - Abby Snay, Deputy Secretary of Future of Work for the California Labor & Workforce Development Agency

Part 2

Jillian Parramore, Curriculum Developer, SEEDS Access Changes Everything

Part 3

Panel Discussion:
Moderator - Rebecca Hoyt, Senior Advocate, Disability Rights California
Adair Savoia, People Planning Together Self-Advocate with Alta CA Regional Center’s Self-Determination Advisory Committee
Matt Baker, California Youth Leadership Forum Community Partner
Frank Granda, Student and Disability Activist
Alex Zavala, Project SEARCH Alumni

Part 4

Tony Thurmond, California State Superintendent of Public Instruction and breakout room introduction by Arturo Cazares, Associate Director of Employment, Regional Center of Orange County

Part 5

Jeiri Flores, Advocacy Specialist, Associate Director for Diversity & Inclusion for University of Rochester Medical Center

Part 6

Closing by Andy Imparato, Executive Director, Disability Rights California