Champions of workforce inclusion to speak at Work Without Limits’ Raise the Bar Hire! conference

June 28, 2017

A disability inclusion leader who is also the father of a child with a disability will be one of several key speakers at the Raise the Bar Hire! Conference October 5-6 hosted by UMass Medical School’s Work Without Limits.

Brad Hopton will deliver the distinguished plenary address at 3 p.m. on the first day of the conference. Hopton is a leader at PwC and co-founder of the firm’s Disability Inclusion Employee Resource Group. Inspired by his beloved son Braden, who was born with Down Syndrome, Hopton is a tireless advocate for people with disabilities in the workplace. He regularly educates businesses on the benefits of inclusion as a diverse set of perspectives drives innovation and creative problem-solving at PwC.

The fifth annual Raise the Bar Hire! Conference is a two-day event hosted by Work Without Limits, an initiative dedicated to advancing the employment of people with disabilities. Day one will feature a keynote address by Temple Grandin, PhD, a nationally renowned autism advocate, along with educational breakout sessions, exhibitors and networking opportunities. On day two, job seekers with disabilities can meet and network with some of Massachusetts’ leading employers at a half-day career fair.

The conference will be co-hosted by Richard Curtis, vice president of workforce development for State Street, and Laura Stout, director of contract operations at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts.

Curtis has a long-standing record of hiring individuals with disabilities. He implements dynamic initiatives, including a strong internship partnership with Massachusetts Commission for the Blind, that help State Street attract, develop and retain talent of all backgrounds. He is a proud founding corporate member of Work Without Limits and serves on the Board of Directors at the Carroll Center for the Blind and Operation A.B.L.E.

Stout is equally passionate about promoting and evolving disability awareness and programs at Blue Cross Blue Shield of Massachusetts. She serves as president of Empowering Abilities, the company’s disability Employee Resource Group, to ensure an accessible and equitable workplace for all. She is a  proud founding corporate member of the Work Without Limits Business Advisory Board, Attorney General Maura Healey’s Disability Rights Advisory Committee, and the Lurie Institute for Disability Policy/Heller School for Social Policy and Management Parent Empowerment Project Advisory Group.

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