History

The Workplace Initiative was founded as a national network of foundations, companies, nonprofits and government agencies that worked to remove barriers to successful careers for people with disabilities. Started in 2012, the agency was spearheaded by a team of experts in disability inclusion at the Poses Family Foundation (PFF), a New York City–based philanthropic foundation founded by Nancy and Fred Poses.

In 2013, four national funders—the Poses Family Foundation, Kessler Foundation, The May & Stanley Smith Charitable Trust and Autism Speaks/New York Collaborates for Autism—came together to form the first-of-its-kind disability employment and inclusion funder collaborative to seed, accelerate and support disability inclusion initiatives of major employers across the United States.

The funder collaborative helped companies overcome obstacles implementing large-scale disability inclusion programs by providing technical assistance through some of the nation’s leading inclusion experts and financial support to nonprofit organizations.

Who We Are

The Workplace Initiative team is comprised of experts in disability employment and inclusion, including two of the nation’s foremost experts in recruiting, hiring and retaining talent with disabilities: Meg O’Connell and James Emmett.

What We Do

Simply put, the Workplace Initiative helps companies recruit, hire and retain the largest untapped source of employment talent in the country: people with disabilities.

The Workplace Initiative strives to close the employment gap for people with disabilities by creating scalable solutions for disability employment and inclusion through partnerships and consulting services. The Workplace Initiative enables companies to amplify disability as a critical component of diversity.

The Workplace Initiative helps organizations learn how to recruit, hire and retain talent with disabilities and strengthen the capacity of organizations to train and educate job seekers with disabilities. We help companies design, implement and sustain programs for hiring talent with disabilities.

Our projects support all companies looking for talent with all types of disabilities—both visible and invisible, including all types of physical disabilities, developmental disabilities, Autism Spectrum Disorder, mental health issues, traumatic brain injury, spinal cord injury, visual and hearing impairment, and learning and attention issues—for all job types.

In doing so, we help companies tap into a new source of talent, realize significant cost savings and reach a customer base with more than $220 billion in spending power; we strengthen communities and the economy; and we help job seekers with disabilities realize their full potential.

Learn more about:

Our Team

Our PartnersT