One out of every five Americans is living with a disability. Those Americans are currently nearly twice as likely to be self-employed. With initiatives like the USBLN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP), they also have the ability to achieve greater economic success and independence.
Recognized by the Americans with Disabilities Act Amendments Act (ADAA), government agencies and private corporations, the USBLN’s Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP) is the leading third-party certifier of disability-owned businesses. This nationally recognized program serves in an advocacy and certification capacity, and provides many distinct benefits:
- It links disability-owned businesses to contracting opportunities with corporate America, government and other buying organizations.
- It provides exclusive access to educational resources to expand an owner’s understanding of best practices when competing for contracts and procurement processes.
- It creates networking opportunities - through conferences, teleconferences, and trade fairs - that match leading corporate and government leaders with Disability Supplier Diversity Program participants to help foster business relationships.
- It provides access to key supplier diversity contacts of Fortune 500 and 1000 corporate partners.
- It advances a mentoring and business development program, in which corporate partners serve as mentors to certified disability-owned business enterprise mentees.
The DSDP offers three different certifications: Disability-Owned Business Enterprise (DOBE) Certification, Veteran-DOBE (V-DOBE) Certification, and Service-Disabled Veteran-DOBE (SDV-DOBE) Certification. A Disability-Owned Business Enterprise Certification (DOBE) is available to any business at least 51% owned, managed and controlled by a person with a disability. The Veteran-DOBE Certification (V-DOBE) is available to a business enterprise owned by a veteran with a disability, not related to their time in service. The Service-Disabled Veteran-DOBE Certification (SDV-DOBE) is available to a business enterprise owned by a veteran with a disability, whose disability was caused by their time in service.
A disability is a physical and/or mental impairment that substantially limits a major life activity, or major bodily function. While the Americans with Disabilities Act does not set forth a specific list of conditions covered by the act, there are over 70 disabilities listed as part of their regulatory guidance, such as missing limbs; mobility impairments requiring the use of a wheel chair; cerebral palsy; major depressive disorder; post-traumatic stress disorder; ADHD; obsessive-compulsive disorder; autism; schizophrenia; and many others.
The USBLN DSDP is a highly credible and recognized certification program. In the last two years, four states have developed public policy promoting inclusion and equality for persons with disabilities, and, in particular, recognizing the USBLN certification program. New Jersey is the latest state to introduce legislation providing assistance to businesses owned by people with disabilities, and recognizing the USBLN certification program as the benchmark for certification. New Jersey follows Massachusetts, Pennsylvania, and New York. In each case, the USBLN was named the exclusive or primary certifier for qualifying businesses.
USBLN continues to advocate for inclusion and equality for people with disabilities. The USBLN Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP) serves to connect corporate partners to certified business and provide training, networking opportunities and access to key events. One such event is the USBLN Annual Conference. We’re poised to continue to grow and strengthen the supply-chain track at this year’s conference. Members of the USBLN Procurement Council, and other experts in supply chain diversification will be in attendance to speak on relevant topics, such as risk management; the value of Disability Supplier Diversity Program (DSDP) certification, and the business impact. Visit usbln.org for more information about the program, to register for the USBLN Conference, and view the full Conference agenda.