It’s our vision to close the gap for people with disabilities by transforming “not” “able” into notable. For far too long we’ve relied on iteration, not innovation to increase economic opportunities for all people with disabilities. We are breaking down stigmas and building networks, one thirty-minute conversation at a time. We believe (and research confirms) disability inclusion starts with a conversation.
By making disability something worth talking about, we will harness the proven power of social accountability, cognitive dissonance, and transparency to offset bias in order to produce measurable results in the hiring, retention, and promotion of talent.
When it comes to finding a job or advancing your career, it’s not what you know, or even who you know, but who knows what you know. So we created NotableTM, a game-changing cloud-based platform that empowers people with disabilities to build their own network while gamifying the process of getting a job to build confidence and enhance skills. Yet, the real value of Notable is its ability to seamlessly address the needs of a two-sided market: people with disabilities and the business community.
At Advocations, we’ve trained more than 10,000 hiring managers, recruiters, and other stakeholders on disability awareness. Yet, a longitudinal study of over 700 U.S. companies recently found that “diversity trainings have little positive effect and may even decrease representation of diverse workers.” With that, Notable will also provide a voluntary, cost-effective and research-supported alternative to disability awareness trainings that is focused on building the skills of disability champions. According to the Harvard Business Review, voluntary participation in diversity trainings is critical because the cognitive impact of choice forces participants to identify as pro-diversity. As a result of self-selection, we naturally identify disability champions within a company and can focus our on-demand trainings on providing resources to close knowledge gaps for committed change-makers in an organization. Furthermore, we harness the power of personal and social accountability by awarding badges for “leveling up” and taking action.
Through a strategic partnership with the 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization Make It Work, Notable gives companies the ability to align their diversity and inclusion efforts with their corporate social responsibility activities. One feature of Notable does just that. It connects job seekers with a disability and company volunteers for fully accessible 30-minute conversations. This time-limited engagement can fit anyone’s busy schedule and allows anyone to be notable. Plus, with the support of our structured interview, a lot can happen in just 30 minutes. Job seekers can learn from an insider about the company and its culture and interview process, and gain access to the hidden job market while building skills for career advancement. The job seeker’s next steps are tracked and supported virtually by the Advocations team.
With Notable, companies are able to think small to achieve big results in disability inclusion, while maximizing the value of their volunteer engagements. According to TapRoot, the average valuation of skills-based volunteering like efforts through Notable, is $150, compared to $23.07 for traditional volunteering. By design, each conversation will not only create value for the participants and company volunteers, but it will be a catalyst for building new connections and generate new conversations to produce what economists refer to as “network effects.” According to the Harvard Business Review, “platforms that produce network effects “enjoy increasing returns to scale, which explains their extraordinary impact.”
Building the Future of Disability Inclusion
In a world divided by difference, disability is what makes us all the same. It’s a natural part of the human condition and disability will happen to you. Empathy is a key driver in making disability inclusion work. Empathy transforms disability from a personal deficit to a shared social responsibility, where people stop settling for “I can’t” and start asking “how might we.” Empathy starts with a conversation. The conversation starts with you. Be Notable.
What you can do to help
- We are looking for experts and other stakeholders to interview and guide our development
- We need development funding, company sponsors, volunteers, strategic partnerships, and connections with disability-focused Employee Resource Groups
- July 2016- Notable platform built and ready for feature customization
- August 2016-National Autism Speaks awarded 35K in development funding