3rd Annual Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit

On October 13th, nearly 250 business leaders, HR professionals, talent acquisition representatives and diversity & inclusion experts gathered for the 3rd Annual Disability Inclusion Opportunity Summit, a day-long conference which shared learning experiences, created constructive collaboration, and proposed new directions for disability inclusion throughout Chicago.  A diverse audience of CBLN member businesses, joined by corporations who are new to the disability inclusion conversation, as well as partners from local government, service providing organizations, and the disability community came together to share resources, tools, and success stories.

Event highlights included: United States Senator, Tammy Duckworth addressing attendees during lunch with her support for disability inclusion, encouraging Chicagoland businesses to continue to build inclusion into the workplace, marketplace and supply chain.

Summit attendees had a chance to voice their own thoughts on what inclusion means through the event’s photo booth, new to this year’s conference, which gave business leaders the chance to post, record and share their ideas on inclusion.

The program was filled with content to engage attendees in discussions on topics like self-disclosure, reasonable accommodations, supporting workers with disabilities and using Business Resource Groups to influence cultural change both internally and externally. See the event’s photos online here. You can also find some of the materials shared during several of the event’s breakout sessions.

  • Disability & Identity: A Study of Effective Practice for Building a Self-ID / Self-Disclosure Campaignclick here for session notes.
  • Reasonable Accommodations Under the ADAclick here for the legal brief referenced in the presentation.
  • The Autism Spectrum Meets the Hiring Manager click here for presentation.

Although the event has concluded, the conversation continues! Checkout the October 18th, WGN Radio segment on the Opportunity Summit from the Wintrust Business Lunch program hosted by Steve Bertrand. You can find Steve’s interview with CLBN Director, Laura Wilhelm, online here at the 21:00 mark.

A big thank you to the Opportunity Summit’s many supporters and contributors including: venue host, Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Illinois; breakout session sponsor, CAI’s Autism2Work Practice; and the CBLN Board of Directors and Program Committee.


The Chicagoland Business Leadership Network (CBLN) is an affiliate of the U.S. Business Leadership Network, a program of the Chicagoland Chamber of Commerce Foundation. It is made possible by a generous grant from the Searle Funds at the Chicago Community Trust.