Facebook and Twitter Broaden Enable America's Outreach - At Enable America's 2010 Disability Employment Forum, keynote speaker Kathy Martinez of the U.S. Department of Labor said the nation needs to do more to improve employment among people with disabilities. Those who could not attend the event were able to access it through Enable America's social media outreach effort.
The power of social media gave Enable America extra ability to bring its 2010 Disability Employment Forum to those unable to attend the event this month. Highlighting this year's meeting was keynote speaker Kathy Martinez, Assistant Secretary of the U.S. Department of Labor's Office of Disability Employment Policy.
"I was pleased to participate in Enable America's 2010 Disability Employment Forum," Martinez said immediately following the forum. "So many more people with disabilities were able to access the forum this year through the live webcast and Twitter coverage. Sharing our work with as broad an audience as possible is one of my goals, and this is a great example of an easy way to support the President's emphasis on openness and transparency."
Those who watched the forum through a live webcast on EnableAmerica.org not only heard Martinez give a keynote address, they also heard from Dr. Susanne Homant, President and CEO of The Able Trust, Marnie Hoover, Senior Project Manager of IBM's Human Ability and Accessibility Center, and Richard Salem, founder and CEO of Enable America.
"Electronic communication and social media outlets are an increasingly important tool for people with disabilities," Salem said. "Enable America uses these platforms each day not just to spread news on the great work we are able to accomplish, but also as a means to give those coping with disabilities new ways to reach out, engage, be heard, and to connect with the world we all live in."
Enable America added a new dimension to electronic outreach during the February forum, by organizing a "Tweetup" for the event, and also posting a "Tweet Station" in the back of the conference hall, enabling all participants to send instant messages through Twitter.
"Combined with the outreach we achieved through the live webcast, Twitter enabled millions of people the ability not just to watch, but also participate in the forum," said Steve LaBour, Enable America's Executive Director. "Anyone who was online had instant access to hear the speakers, and also the ability to send in a question to be asked during the interactive portion of our program."
Those who did not watch the forum live on February 3 can still view the entire event via links posted on Enable America's web site, see pictures and comment on the event on Facebook, and read tweets from the Disability Employment Forum on Twitter at "Disability_2010."
Additional information on Enable America and its programs can be found at the organization's web site, EnableAmerica.org
About Enable America: Enable America was established in 2002 by attorney Richard Salem as a non-profit organization dedicated to helping people with disabilities find employment and live independently. The organization's Community Connections, Business Connections, and VetConnect programs unite members of the disability community and business community to raise awareness and increase employment opportunities for the 54 million Americans with disabilities, including our nation's wounded warriors. More information can be found on the organization's web site, EnableAmerica.org.