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Employment of adults with disabilities:Policies and Practice

DATE: Thursday 23rd October 2014 
TIME: 1pm – 4.30pm
VENUE: Canada Room & Council Chamber, Lanyon Building, QUB.
FACILITATOR: Lynnae Ruttledge, ; Appointee by U.S. President Obama on the National Council on Disability.
REGISTRATION: This is an open and free event, but for numbers for catering please register with jan.speer@qub.ac.uk


Employment of adults with disabilities is a topic of great interest and importance today. Our discussion will focus on strategies, research and best practices that can assure that adults with disabilities have the skills and opportunity to compete in the local and global economy and in the 21st century workplace.  Too often, adults with disabilities face significant challenges in accessing and maintaining employment opportunities that maximize their skills, talents and abilities. For many, low expectations, under-employment and limited access to meaningful careers have been the reality. For others, adult onset of disability has meant the untimely shortening or termination of a career.Promising strategies that involve business, education and the disability community abound. There is a growing body of research and development of evidence-based practices in the field of employment of youth and adults with disabilities. Disability employment policy can and should be viewed in the context of the local and global economy.  As importantly, we can learn to tell a better story - from the perspective of the adult with a disability, from the perspective of employers and from the perspective of the community that benefits.

Short Biography:
Lynnae Ruttledge has committed her career to disability-related public policy and program development with a focus on employment of adults with disabilities. In her work in the fields of education, independent living, vocational rehabilitation and international exchange, Lynnae has provided effective leadership for collaborative partnerships with educators, researchers, advocates, business, community-based organizations and governmental agencies.  Lynnae currently serves as a Presidential appointee to the National Council on Disability, an independent federal agency that advises the President, Congress and other federal agencies on disability policy. In addition, she serves as a disability policy advisor to DOCTRID (Daughters of Charity, Technology  Research into Disability) and Michigan State University. In 2013, Lynnae also served as a Presidential appointee to the fifteen member US Senate Commission on Long Term Care.  Lynnae provided national leadership to the public vocational rehabilitation program as Commissioner of the Rehabilitation Services Administration with the US  Department of Education from 2010 - 2012. Throughout her extensive public service career, Lynnae has held policy development and executive level leadership positions at the local, state and national levels.  Committed to international disability rights advocacy, Lynnae is a strong supporter of the UN Convention on the Rights of Persons with Disabilities. She has been affiliated with Mobility International USA, a US-based disability rights NGO, since 1988 and has served as a citizen diplomat in educational exchanges in South America, Africa, Asia, the Middle East, Australia/New Zealand, Russia and Europe.  Lynnae and her husband (an Irish citizen) make their home in the state of Washington in the Pacific Northwest.

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