Abilities @ Work: Disability Inclusion in the Workplace


Categories: Seminar and Workshop

NOARK is recognized by SHRM to offer Professional Development Credits (PDCs) for the SHRM-CP® or SHRM-SCP®. This program is valid for 1.00 PDCs for the SHRM-CP℠ or SHRM-SCP℠. For more information about certification or recertification, please visit shrmcertification.org.

This event is approved for HRCI credits

This Program has been approved for 1.00 HR (General) recertification credit hours toward aPHR™, aPHRi™, PHR®, PHRca®, SPHR®, GPHR®, PHRi™ and SPHRi™ recertification through HR Certification Institute® (HRCI®).

The use of this official seal confirms that this Activity has met HR Certification Institute’s® (HRCI®) criteria for recertification credit pre-approval.

While addressing the CEO Commission for Disability Employment in 2020, Johnny C Taylor, Jr., the President and CEO of SHRM said, “Right now, many HR professionals and employees are not receiving disability inclusion training in the workplace, and this is a missed opportunity. As organizations rethink their talent strategies and rebuild their businesses, it’s imperative employers provide resources and support to hire, and welcome, individual with disabilities.”

Join us on February 11, 2021 to learn more about SHRM’s efforts to promote abilities in the workplace and how those efforts can help you include individuals with varying degrees of physical and cognitive abilities in your workplace. Hear how Rockin’ Baker, a northwest Arkansas nonprofit commercial bakery, offers high quality artisan breads to leading hospitality groups and restaurants in northwest Arkansas employing  young adults on the autism spectrum, preparing them for full and productive work lives.

“Baking Loaves. Empowering Lives” is the first thing you see on the Rockin’ Baker homepage. Rockin’ Baker has been addressing a growing problem in our society: a high unemployment rate that disproportionately affects individuals on the autism spectrum.  Autism Speaks estimates that 83% of individuals with disabilities are unemployed, representing over 23,000 potential candidates in Arkansas alone. Boys are four times more likely to be diagnosed with autism than girls.  An estimated 70,700 to 111,600 teens each year will enter adulthood and age out of school based autism services. While 44% of children with autism have IQ scores in the average to above average range (i.e., IQ >85), nearly half of 25-year-olds with autism have never held a paying job. Research demonstrates that job activities that encourage independence reduce autism symptoms and increase daily living skills. Rockin’ Baker has been a change maker for these young adults in northwest. 

At the end of this session you will be able to:

·         Access resources offered by SHRM to help with recruiting, hiring, and retaining individuals with disabilities.

·         Present a business case for including this those with varying abilities in your DE&I Strategy.

·         Better understand the concept of ableism and what it looks like in your workplace.

·         Take action to becoming advocates of inclusive hiring initiatives, both in your workplaces and your communities. Specifically with direction to the utilization of the SHRM Foundation's Employing Abilities at Work program  

·         Better understand what Autism Spectrum Disorder is.

·         Describe the Rockin’ Baker mission and consider a mission of employing individuals with disabilities for your own organization.

·         Witness neurodiversity at work at Rockin’ Baker.

·         Challenge biases and stereotypes.

·         Celebrate successes in addressing a societal problem.


SPEAKER: Daymara Baker

A seasoned businesswoman and lifelong creative spirit with a heart for helping others, Daymara Baker found her calling on an international flight to visit her family. In 2015, freshly after her decision to leave a senior position at a multinational CPG brand, Daymara reclined in her airline seat, and before the plane’s wheels were down in the Caribbean, the entire concept for Rockin’ Baker unraveled in her mind’s eye, just like an in-flight movie. Her friends call this mid-air epiphany her calling, the first step in realizing a destiny that combines her accumulated business experience with her passion for helping people.

 As an artist, Daymara has experimented with a number of mediums, from oils and clay, to Farmers Market ingredients and, ultimately, dough.

Co-founder of NWA Community Creative Center in Fayetteville, Arkansas, and a champion for Women’s Foundation of Arkansas, Daymara knew at once that a social enterprise like Rockin’ Baker would be a powerful multiplier for the community, using something as humble as a rustic loaf of sourdough bread as a catalyst for empowering the disadvantaged, breaking the cycle of poverty and paying forward the gifts of self-sufficiency and fulfillment.

​Her vision for Rockin’ Baker is to leverage the organization as a training platform and place of equilibrium to help people feel empowered, valued and confident to move onto their own callings as productive, thriving members of society.

Looking back, the kernels of Daymara’s Rockin’ Baker adventure may have revealed themselves in her early artwork, according to Daymara’s mother. As a teenager, Daymara painted a still life that depicted a loaf of bread as the show-stopping centerpiece. Once Daymara gave a name to her vision for Rockin’ Baker, her mother shipped the original canvas from Venezuela, so the oil painting can grace the wall of the bakery in Fayetteville, Arkansas.

More about Daymara Baker

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SPEAKER: Bryan Martin 

Bryan Martin is the Program Manager for Inclusion Programming at the SHRM Foundation. Bryan has over eight years of experience managing strategic, mission-driven non-profit programs. Prior to coming to the SHRM Foundation, Bryan served as the Program Manager for Wounded Warrior Project’s Mental Health and Wellness Programs where he developed clinical and non-clinical programming for veterans and their families. Additionally, Bryan spent eight years in the United States Air Force serving a myriad of roles including Program Manager of Employee Performance and Evaluation and Military Outreach Programming. Bryan holds graduate degree in both Non-Profit Management from Johns Hopkins University and Human Resource Management from Georgetown University.

At the SHRM Foundation, Bryan oversees the development of inclusion initiatives for veterans, individuals with criminal records, and those with disabilities. Passionate about service communities, Bryan seeks opportunities to serve the LGBTQ+ and Autism Communities through volunteering at various non-profit organizations.

You can contact Bryan Martin at via phone or email at 703.535.6078 or eat0@eau0eav0eaw0.