My own cultural competency is built on a lifetime of leadership and international experiences. I Enlisted in the Navy right out of high school which is the most diverse organization in the world traveling to Europe the Middle East and Central America my prior upbringing prepared me perfectly for this organization due to the fact that I grew up surrounded by cultures different from my own, I was encouraged by my parents to identify and value both the commonalities and differences of this human experience. As a Naval supervisor exposure to diverse peoples was instrumental in shaping my worldview and values. According to the Institute on Disability, “If people with disabilities were a formally recognized minority group, at 19% of the population, they would be the largest minority group in the United States.”
The purpose of The Disability Chamber of Commerce is to assist people with disabilities with employment or self employment while developing the skills necessary to succeed as productive human beings contributing to global innovation. The Disability Chamber of Commerce philosophy is centered on the idea that true innovation derives from a diverse workforce and people with disabilities have had to be innovative their whole lives in order to be inclusive.
In my disability research and program development experience diversity of talent, provides more ideas and perspectives into driving the best global business solutions. Diversity becomes a valuable resource for innovation through a diverse workforce that reflects securing success in this globally competitive environment. I know that there exists a strong connection between innovation, diversity and inclusion; the challenge to the Disability Chamber of Commerce is to help our future leaders and fellow professionals understand that connection.