Recruiting, Hiring and Retaining Persons with disAbilities Discussed at Conference

Oct 10, 2014

Area employers can learn techniques to improve recruiting, hiring and retaining persons with disabilities at the 13th Annual U.S. Conference on Disability hosted by The University of Scranton’s Panuska College of Professional Studies on Wednesday, Oct. 29.

Presentations include “Beyond Regulations and Laws: Making the new Office of Federal Contract Compliance Program’s Section 503 of the Rehabilitation Act regulations work for your organization,” moderated by Robert F. Durkin, president of the Greater Scranton Chamber of Commerce. Panelists for this session are Kam S. Wong, vice president, Diversity and Inclusion Planning and Administration, Prudential Financial Inc.; Kathleen West-Evans, director of business relations, Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR); and Rob Hodapp, western operations, business service and outreach specialist, Bureau of Central Operations, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation.

Also, Ralph Roach, division chief, business service and outreach, Bureau of Central Operations, Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Edward Rogers, district director, Philadelphia Eastern District Office OFCCP, will discuss “OVR First PA Overview: Resources for Employers.” Christine M. Jensen, vice president of finance of the NEPA Society of Human Resource Management (SHRM) and PA Career Link Administrator, will moderate this track.

The two sessions have met the Human Resource Certification Institute’s criteria for recertification credit and are sponsored by Prudential Retirement.

The sessions are part of the daylong Conference on disAbility, titled “Faith, Family & Future: Rehabilitation with Results, a Conference on Employment, Transition and Independent Living.” Keynote speakers at the conference include Most Reverend Joseph E. Kurtz, D.D., president of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops and the Archbishop of Louisville, Kentucky; Janet L. LaBreck, commissioner, Rehabilitation Services Administration, U.S. Department of Education; and Kathleen West-Evans, director of business relations for the Council of State Administrators of Vocational Rehabilitation (CSAVR). In addition, Judy McFarlane, author of “Writing with Grace: A Journey Beyond Down Syndrome,” and Grace Chen, who wrote “Cinderella-Grace Vancouver Princess,” will deliver a 4:30 p.m. public lecture, entitled “A Journey Beyond Down Syndrome,”  in conjunction with the conference. McFarlane will describe how she was transformed by her experience helping Chen, a 24-year-old woman with Down syndrome, write a book. Chen will also participate in the lecture.

This year’s sponsors of the conference are Prudential Retirement, Allied Integrated Health System and the University’s Jesuit Center.

Additional information about the conference can be found at, or by emailing the conference co-chairs Rebecca Spirito Dalgin, Ph.D., associate professor of counseling and human services, at, or Lori Bruch, Ed.D, associate professor of counseling and human services, at


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