In October 2019, employers and corporate leaders gathered at The Viscardi Center headquarters in New York for the National Business & Disability Council’s (NBDC) Annual National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) celebration. Each year, this event serves to recognize the significant impact people with disabilities make on organizations as employees, and highlight the key issues and barriers facing people with disability as it relates to employment.
This year’s celebration mirrored the 2019 national NDEAM campaign theme, “The Right Talent, Right Now.” John D. Kemp, president & CEO of The Viscardi Center, opened the event by acknowledging employers’ increased access to educated, well-qualified candidates with disabilities.
Dr. Rohini Anand, Global Senior Vice President of Corporate Responsibility and Global Chief Diversity Officer for Sodexo, delivered the event’s keynote address. As a world-renowned leader on organizational change and diversity & inclusion, Dr. Anand has guided Sodexo’s team of 460,000 employees to admirable heights. Under her leadership, Sodexo has ranked in DiversityInc’s Top 10 Companies for Diversity for nine consecutive years, and in 2018 was one of the first companies to be inducted into DiversityInc’s Top 50 Hall of Fame.
This year’s NDEAM celebration also honored Srin Madipalli, and the In-Home Accessibility Team, of Airbnb by presenting them with the inaugural NBDC Trailblazers for Disability Inclusion Award. Srin is a product manager at Airbnb, where he focuses on making travel easier for people with disabilities. He is the embodiment of an entrepreneurial dream. A former attorney turned developer, in 2015, he and a friend founded Accomable, a travel platform for people with disabilities. In 2017, it was acquired by Airbnb and Srin began working for the Airbnb team in early 2018.