Breakout Session, 11:00 am - 12:00 pm

Inclusive Strategies for Supervisors or Peers To Engage and Support Employees With Diverse Abilities

Session Overview

If your business or organization has committed to hiring a diverse workforce, this session is for you. Inclusion is not about proximity, or simply providing a work opportunity for someone with a disability. Inclusion is the intentional work we do to ensure that everyone is welcomed, engaged and supported to be successful in their roles. Here we will explore together the top inclusion strategies that will give your team the tools and confidence to create a culture of inclusion ensuring that persons with diverse abilities are valued (and equal) members of your team.
In this interactive training, attendees will learn about disability etiquette, suggested terminology and best practice around inclusion strategies. End the session reviewing inclusion scenarios in small groups and apply the strategies learned to solve them. You'll leave knowing that Inclusion means FOR ALL and is achieved when there is organizational commitment.


After attending this session, participants will be able to:

  1. Identify at least 4 of inclusion principles and recognize how they would apply in their work settings.
  2. Examine the disability training & policy within your company and identify at least one area to help inclusion be part of the culture of your organization not just a mandated training.
  3. Demonstrate how to use at least 4 preventative strategies that promote inclusion to implement into their work settings, creating a culture where all employees are welcomed, engaged and supported to be successful in their role.
  4. Apply the use of inclusion strategies to problem-solve a common work inclusion scenario by using learned strategies to create solutions.


Lisa DrennanLisa Drennan

Founder / Consultant, MERGE Diverse Abilities Inclusion Consulting

Lisa has a 36-year career supporting individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities to be active, engaged and valued members of their community. Starting as a direct support professional at New England Village, a residential community for adults with developmental disabilities, she climbed the ranks and expanded her experience to be named the Director of the Sollar Wellness Center, a first-of-it-kind building offering aquatics, fitness, music, art and education specifically designed to meet the needs of persons with developmental disabilities.

In 2014, she joined the South Shore YMCA as the first-ever Association Director of Inclusion. Through innovative program development, creation and execution of comprehensive staff training and building community partnerships, she was recognized as a leader in the field of social and community inclusion for persons with diverse abilities. Lisa was appointed as the National Chairperson of the YMCA of the USA's Diverse Abilities Working Group providing a platform of learning and sharing of best practices for Y's across the country. In 2018 Lisa started her own company, MERGE Inclusion Consulting where she provides comprehensive consultation, staff training and systems implementation to community entities committed to inclusion.