The Harkin Summit: Innovating for Inclusion

Doubling Disability Employment In A Changing Landscape


Renaissance Hotel, 999 9th Street NW, Washington D.C.

About the Summit

In its first year, the Harkin International Disability Employment Summit convened 180+ attendees from 30 countries over 1.5 days. The Summit was an invitation-only event of select stakeholders who had been successful at employing people with all types of disabilities, or adapting policies and practices that encourage others to do so.


Former U.S. Sen. Tom Harkin

“The unemployment rate among adult Americans with disabilities who want to work and can work is over 60%! That is a blot on our national character.”

Sen. Harkin’s farewell speech
to the Senate


Panel discussion addresses role of higher education in maximizing disability employment opportunities

The 2018 Harkin Summit was preluded with a panel on the role of higher education in advancing integrated employment for people with disabilities.

Keynote Speaker: New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio

As New York City’s 109th mayor, Bill de Blasio is committed to fighting the income inequality that has created a ‘Tale of Two Cities’ across the five boroughs. Mayor de Blasio believes all New Yorkers deserve a chance to succeed in the greatest city on earth. That means every child gets a quality education, every community is safe, and every New Yorker has an affordable place to call home.

Keynote Speaker: Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Senator for Illinois

Keynote Speaker: Tammy Duckworth, U.S. Senator for Illinois

U.S. Senator Tammy Duckworth is an Iraq War Veteran, Purple Heart recipient and former Assistant Secretary of the Department of Veterans Affairs. She was among the first Army women to fly combat missions during Operation Iraqi Freedom. Duckworth served in the Reserve Forces for 23 years before retiring from military service in 2014 at the rank of Lieutenant Colonel. She was elected to the U.S.