Our Mission: To drive up employment for people with disabilities, including Veterans.
Press Room - Questions? Call 800.973.7687
After winning the prestigious Cal Pava Prize in 2000, Former Governor of Pennsylvania, Tom Ridge lauded their efforts stating:
"My administration is committed to eliminating barriers for Pennsylvanians with disabilities, so they have opportunities to contribute their talents to our businesses, our schools and our communities. The Sierra Group shares that vision and, through creativity and innovation, helps make it a reality one person at a time." Former Pennsylvania Governor Tom Ridge
NOTE: This site uses Adobe Acrobat PDF , MS PowerPoint and MS Word document formats. If you need help opening any of these file formats, please go to our accessibility page.
Janet Fiore Receives OVR Award 2/13/13
Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group/President RecruitDisability.org Receives OVR Business Award. Fiore addressed OVR's Business Partners with a timely training on the proposed Rule Changes to the OFCCP Regulations on hiring workers with disabilities.
Wayne Trout, OVR District Administrator,
Philadelphia, James Piergalline, OVR/Job Fair
Planning Committee, Janet Fiore
Janet Fiore, CEO The Sierra Group, appears on Executive Leaders Radio
"Janet Fiore, CEO at The Sierra Group first appeared on Executive Leaders Radio on September 7, 2012. Executive Leaders Radio is dedicated to honoring individuals who have risen to leadership roles through hard work and dedication. This highly popular radio program shares the stories and wisdom of leaders like Janet Fiore with a diverse listener audience with the goal of helping others achieve the level of success that Janet Fiore has." – quote from Executive Leaders Radio website
Janet Fiore, The Sierra Group, was featured in this week’s Business Journal
Janet Fiore, The Sierra Group, was featured in this week’s Business Journal CEO Profile! In fact, she made the front page!! The article shares her life motto, yardstick of success & more. Check it out at: The Philadelphia Business Journal CEO Profile.
Janet was also recently featured on Executive Leaders Radio program!
Read some insights into the woman behind The Sierra Group!
The Sierra Group wins National Award! Chicago, Illinois, August, 2012:
W. F. Faulkes was the first President of the National Rehabilitation Association. The W. F. Faulkes Award reflects outstanding technical achievement in the field of rehabilitation. It is the highest honor bestowed by the the National Rehabilitation Association. The Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Chapter (PRA) was the nominator of The Sierra Group, Inc. for this award recognizing The Sierra Group for making contributions of national importance to the increase of knowledge in the field of rehabilitation.
The award was presented before an audience of 200 by Sara Sundeen, National President, and Ellen Sobolewski, incoming President Elect. Accepting the Award on behalf of The Sierra Group team was CFO, Michael G. Fiore, accompanied by CEO, Janet Fiore. "We thank our friends at PRA for nominating us! This award comes to us during a year of many changes where the difficult economy has affected the work we all do as professionals in this filed. We are pleased to remain a leader in the industry and to be recognized for doing the work we love – driving up employment for Americans with Disabilities", said Michael G. Fiore on accepting this distinct honor.
Please join us in welcoming our newest professional team member: Sara L. Shugars, MS, CRC, LRC, CCM
"We are very pleased to welcome Sara Shugars to our team. As you can see from her resume and accomplishments, Sara is hard working, smart, and exhibits excellent critical thinking skills. We could not be more pleased to have her as part of our Vocational Consulting Division. Her drive is contagious and the image of her winning her first competitive cycling race in 2010 (Connecticut State Champ) underscores her drive to succeed in all that she does. View her resume and her published article so that you can understand why she is such a solid fit with our team."
Michael Fiore, BSE, MBA
Janet Fiore is 2012 Mid-Atlantic Region Professional Development Award Recipient
The award is presented to an individual National Rehabilitation Association (NRA) Mid-Atlantic Region member for significant contributions in the professional preparation and upgrading of rehabilitation personnel. The award signifies dedication and leadership in the pursuit of quality services to individuals with disabilities.
"Janet Fiore is very deserving of this award. She has demonstrated outstanding leadership not only in Pennsylvania, but also at the National level. Janet is hard working, compassionate and fun person. She has great follow through and has graciously offered her skills, resources and expertise to help improve the National Rehabilitation Association. Most recently Janet has served as NARL president and led a committee researching office options. It is clear to me that Janet is committed to the members of the National Rehabilitation Association as well as a great advocate for people with disabilities. I am honored to know Janet and I am so happy she is a part of the NRA family. Thank you for all you do! Congratulations " – Susan Sundeen, President of NRA
First Annual ONE MORE WAY Award
Larry Slagel, VP of Sales for RecruitMilitary, accepts the 2011 First Annual "One More Way" award from Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group at the RecruitMilitary Veteran Opportunity Expo on February 23, 2012. RecruitMilitary was recognized for their support which resulted in awareness and job opportunities for people with disabilities.
Janet Fiore receives Access Achievement Award
On October 21st, The Philadelphia Mayor's Commission on People with Disabilities recognized Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group, with an Access Achievement Award for her work and dedication to people with disabilities.
Video of Janet Fiore's acceptance speech at the Philadelphia Mayor's Commission Access Achievement Award on October 21, 2011.
NARL President Janet Fiore at the National Rehab Annual Conference
NARL president Janet Fiore helps NARL Mid-States Board Rep. Doris Illes with the National "Count Me in Campaign" at the National Rehab Annual Conference in Salt Lake City, October 2011.
Janet Fiore, CEO, to speak at The Conference Board's Corporate Diversity & Inclusion Conference
Change, Innovation and Organizational Design: Linking Diversity & Inclusion to Sustainable Growth
28 - 29 June, 2011
JW Marriott Chicago
Innovative Diverse Talent Management Sourcing Solutions
June 29 – J2 1:15–2:30 PM
Moderator – Mary Wright , Program Director, The Conference Board
Deb Russell, Corporate Manager, Outreach & Employee Services, Board Chairperson, U.S. Business Leadership Network (USBLN), Walgreens
Martha Artiles, Global Chief Diversity Officer, Manpower
Janet Fiore, Chief Executive Officer, The Sierra Group
Diversity & Inclusion is, more than ever, a critical driver for sustainable business success. Challenges and opportunities to manage any or all of the following dimensions requires constant vigilance and competent leadership and management: globalization, shifting demographics; emerging majorities; LGBTQA concerns; economic challenges; generational differences; religious and spiritual impact; gender gaps; supplier diversity; and race, privilege, and class issues. The annual Corporate Diversity & Inclusion Conference will bring together leaders for a unique event to focus on peer learning, networking, and sharing of best practices; models that work; metrics that measure what matters; and strategies that enable sustainable progress.
Benefits of attending
- Compare and contrast strategies and practices for successful change and effective talent management
- Examine approaches to integrating diversity & inclusion into the entire organization's processes, systems, and performance management
- Delve into increasingly complex domains of diversity & inclusion for strategic planning among senior diversity leaders across industries
- Assess current progress with your own vision and strategy
For more information or to register see the Corporate Diversity & Inclusion Conference Website.
Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association (PRA) Gives Ralph N. Pacinelli Leadership Award to Carl Marshall.
"This award is presented to a Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association (PRA) member who has exercised extraordinary national and/or state leadership to rehabilitation professionals in order to strengthen, broaden, and hone their professional development. These enlightened characteristics should serve to substantially impact the public/private vocational rehabilitation program, assist PRA in achieving its mission, and make a positive contribution to the lives of individuals with disabilities."
Carl L. Marshall, M.ED., CRC, LPC - is a Rehabilitation Consultant, with 38 years experience as a vocational rehabilitation administrator, manager and counselor. Prior to his retirement from the Pennsylvania Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in April 2007, he founded Bellevue Park Associates, a consulting firm that provides an array of employment and disability-related services and training for business, people with disabilities and rehabilitation professionals. Mr. Marshall is also on the consulting staff of The Sierra Group, Inc.
The Sierra Group is proud to say that TWO of our team members have been honored with the prestigious Ralph Pacinelli Leadership Award (CEO Janet Fiore received the award in 2010).
Michael Fiore, BSE MBA – Co-Chair Economic Impact Task Force – The Sierra Group, Inc. writes article in National Rehabilitation Association's Contemporary RehabView the article "NRA Economic Impact Task Force Calls for Participants" in Contemporary Rehab, (February 2011, Volume 67, No.1, p10).
An accessible WORD version is also available at February 2011 Contemporary Rehab (WORD).
Contemporary Rehab, a publication of The National Rehabilitation Association feature story about NARL, by Janet Fiore, President!
View the NxtBook edition of the February 2011 edition of Contemporary Rehab (Volume 67, No.1, p1).
An accessible WORD version is also available at February 2011 Contemporary Rehab (WORD).
Officers and Board of Directors – Call for Nominations
Call for Award Nominations
The Sierra Group is proud to offer CART services (Communication Access Realtime Translation)
The Sierra Group is proud to offer CART services (Communication Access Realtime Translation) for all of our Teleseminar and Web-based training broadcasts. Check out a TV clip of one of our CART service providers (ACS) on the Chicago NBC Affiliate!
Now Microsoft Wins with Accessible Recruiting
The Sierra Group thanks Suzanne Robitaille of www.abledbody.com for this article summarizing a few of the highlights from our teleseminar on "Accessible Recruiting, Part I".
Hiring a diverse workforce has many benefits, such as giving a company a more multicultural perspective that can enhance their product offerings. When hiring a candidate with a disability, however, there are a few extra steps a company can take to make sure the experience is accessible – and successful — for everyone.
Academy Student & PA OVR in Inquirer
Our friend, colleague, and LRI Academy student, Harvey Brown was featured in the Philadelphia Inquirer.
Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group once again selected as a national expert to participate at the upcoming State of the Science Conference in Bethesda, MD on April 26, 2011.
The Rehabilitation Engineering Research Committee (RERC) on Workplace Accommodation's conference will pull together a select group of national experts for a day long conference on The Potential of Emerging Technologies to Increase the Participation of Employees with Disabilities in the Workplace.
While the event is by invitation only, past research from the RERC is available at http://www.workrerc.org/. Fiore is "pleased to continue to lend The Sierra Group's 20 years of hands on expertise in the realm of assistive technology AND workplace accommodations to the important research of the RERC."
Resources for Disabled Job Hunters
"Job seekers with disabilities have it tough. Only 21 percent of disabled working-age Americans had a job in the past year – that's compared to 59 percent of non-disabled Americans. Whether you are a newly minted college graduate or returning to work after an extended absence, when looking for a job it's hard to know where to begin."
Janet Fiore, CEO, receives 2010 National Rehabilitation Association President's Award
Read Janet's article "Management by Walking around: NARL Pre-Conference a Huge Success" - PDF in the October 2010Contemporary Rehab 121 K
Justice Department Makes the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design Available to Online Viewers Nationwide
The Justice Department made available online the 2010 ADA Standards for Accessible Design. These standards were adopted as part of the revised regulations for Title II and Title III of the Americans with Disabilities Act of 1990 (ADA).
When the standards go into effect on March 15, 2012, they will set minimum requirements – both scoping and technical – for new construction and alterations of the facilities of more than 80,000 state and local governments and over seven million businesses. Until the 2012 compliance date, entities have the option to use the revised standards to plan current and future projects so that their buildings and facilities are accessible to more than 54 million Americans with disabilities.
The Sierra Group Inc. is the financial sponsor of MIND TV's "Voices of Veterans" Free Screening and Discussion Event
The Sierra Group, Inc. is the financial sponsor of the event. Janet Fiore is doing a live interview with Marsha Four that will be filmed and aired after the event on MIND TV.
Thursday, November 18 - 6:00pm - 7:30pm
The schedule of the event is as follows:
6pm: Doors open, light refreshments.
6:30pm: Welcome from MiND TV, thank yous (Jessica Kegelman).
6:35pm: Screening of five 5-minute programs.
7:00pm: Jessica introduces Janet Fiore and Marsha Four
7:05pm: Janet Fiore interviews Marsha Four
7:25pm: Questions from the audience
National Liberty Museum
321 Chestnut Street
Join MiND TV and our partners at the extraordinary National Liberty Museum as we pay tribute to those who have served our country. The screening will feature a diverse selection of new 5-minute stories about people who serve and some of the issues veterans may face after they return.
The Tri-County PA chapter of Women in Insurance & Financial Services (WIFS) invites you to meet Janet Fiore founder and CEO of The Sierra Group
"Janet Fiore is a CEO of a for-profit disability management firm, and a tenacious advocate for the employment rights of people with disabilities. When disability entered her own life she made some interesting and valuable observations. Choosing to grow her company while battling stage four breast cancer along with the sudden death of the bones in her legs, Fiore’s talk provides a heartfelt, humorously delivered account of finding 'All the Strength You’ll Need'."
"Fiore’s company, www.thesierragroup.com, serves the return to work needs for LTD insurance carriers across the country. Her own testimony regarding the ‘benefits’ of having this LTD benefit has become part of her day to day message that she shares with business leaders whom she mentors and trains." (from the WIFS event flyer)
Thursday, October 7, 2010
5:30 p.m. – 7:30 p.m.
Networking and light refreshments from 5:30 to 6:00 pm
Please join us at the
Valley Forge office of New York Life,
1205 Westlakes Drive, Suite 180, Berwyn PA
FREE FOR WIFS MEMBERS
$20 FOR NON-WIFS MEMBERS
PLEASE RSVP OURWIFS@GMAIL.COM
October is Breast Cancer Awareness Month
Janet Fiore named member of the Traumatic Brain Injury - Resource Optimization Center (TBI - ROC) Advisory Group
"As a recognized expert in, strategic thinking, public policy, business, employment, disability,
communications, research and/or traumatic brain injury (TBI), your input is vital to the development
and success of this Center. This is a rare opportunity to work with leaders across core private and public
sectors to explore issues and design innovative strategies and action steps to stimulate major policy
reform and leverage greater attention and resources for TBI services. Advisory Group members have
broad influence as they represent the private sector, including corporations, foundations, national and
state trade organizations, universities, medical centers, providers, payers, advocates, and the media."
Gail Bassin - Chair & Co-CEO Jerri Shaw - President & Co-CEO JBS International, Inc.
The Sierra Group, Inc. was honored to serve as a sponsor for yesterday’s ADA Celebration at Independence Park.
“Thousands of individuals with and without disabilities passed through the park to take part in the celebration, connect with old friends and learn about new resources – all with the spirit of independence for all!” said Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group of yesterday’s event. “we’ve come a long way as a community, and we have much work ahead of us, particularly on the employment front. I’m pleased to see so much press coverage of this 20 anniversary of the Civil Rights legislation that promises the power of a paycheck for all Americans, regardless of disability.”
Links to press coverage:
Janet Fiore to present at the National Council on Independent Living (NCIL) conference, “20 Years of the ADA: The Fight Goes On”
On Monday, July 19, 2010, Janet Fiore will present at the National Council on Independent Living conference, "20 Years of the ADA: The Fight Goes On". Janet will present on "Implementing the ADA Amendments Act – A Practical Look" .
NCIL Annual Conference 2010
. Cheryl 20 Years of the ADA: The Fight Goes On!
Save the Date!
July 19-22, 2010
Grand Hyatt, Washington, D.C.
The Sierra Group to present at the Pennsylvania Community on Transition Conference
The Sierra Group to present at the Pennsylvania Community on Transition Conference occurring from July 21-23, 2010. The title for this year’s conference is Empowerment in Action: A Unified Approach.
Michael G. Fiore will address teachers, students and parents in 3 breakout sessions entitled Career Development Strategies, Interpreting Test Results: A Practical Guide for Parents, and Out Innovate Your Competition in the Labor Market. Michael will be co-presenting with Lynn Zale of Reading OVR, Joan Shindel of York’s Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, and Dana Baccanti, MA, CRC, respectively.
Seth G. Acosta will also present in a session entitled, The New Universal Design: Creative Strategies on July 22, 2010 from 12:30 pm to 1:45pm, in which he will cover techniques by which students in transition can amplify their abilities by combining concepts of universal design and creative utilization to achieve their desired outcomes.
These sessions are sure to enhance the audience’s knowledge of strategies, which they can employ to better support students in transition. Attendees will leave armed with new ideas about how to increase vocational competitiveness for students in transition, how to better understand student testing-methods, and new innovative strategies that they can offer to support students as they move into the competitive marketplace.
For more information on the conference. PDF - 712 K
The Sierra Group, Inc. and Liberty Resources partner to celebrate the 20th anniversary of the signing of the American Disabilities Act of 1990
The Sierra Group, Inc. is a proud partner and Silver Sponsor with Liberty Resources Academy celebrating the 20th anniversary of the ADA. Help celebrate the 20th anniversary by attending an outdoor festival featuring food, exhibits and music.
Monday, July 26, 2010, 11 am – 4 pm
Independence Visitor Center Lawn
5th and Market Streets
Looking for ways to grow in diverse your workforce? Excellent! We can help you act.
Consider the benefits of hiring a person with disabilities.
The Sierra Group, Inc.
Go to www.thesierragroup.com
or call 1-800-973-7687 for
Candidates, Jobs, Accommodations, Consulting, and more.
ADA Amendments Act - What you NEED to know!
READ this article by leading experts, Janet Fiore, CEO & Jill Fisher, Esq.
The July 2009 edition of Counterpoint, The Official Publication of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute features an article written by subject matter experts Janet Fiore, The Sierra Group, and Jill Fisher, Esquire, Zarwin, Baum, DeVito, Kaplan, Schaer, Toddy, P.C.
Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association (PRA) Gives Ralph N. Pacinelli Leadership Award to Janet Fiore
"This award is presented to a PRA member who has exercised extraordinary national and/or state leadership to rehabilitation professionals in order to strengthen, broaden, and hone their professional development. These enlightened characteristics should serve to substantially impact the public/private vocational rehabilitation program, assist PRA in achieving its mission, and make a positive contribution to the lives of individuals with disabilities."
"Janet is the President and CEO of The Sierra Group, a distinguished private rehabilitation company. Janet plays a role on the national scene with her advocacy for the development of employment opportunities for persons with disabilities. According to Ray Feroz, Janet “has traveled the country and interfaced with business executives, elected officials and professionals to create a better world for all American citizens. She is a master at making connections that result in individual success, and more importantly, for social progress in this great nation. Janet talks the talk AND walks the walk. She is an inspiration to everyone she meets, and Janet’s leadership reflects highly upon herself, The Sierra Group, and the Pennsylvania and National Rehabilitation Associations (PRA/NRA)."
"Janet is also the Past President (2002) of PRA and hosted the annual conference of National Rehabilitation Association when it was in Philadelphia in the year of her presidency. Under her leadership PRA was also awarded the “Chapter of the Year” distinction by National Rehabilitation Association. Janet has also continued her active involvement in PRA and National Rehabilitation Association by helping to arrange for world-class conference speakers, making presentations, engaging in advocacy and providing education to the rehabilitation leadership. Janet is also currently running for the office of president of National Rehabilitation Association's National Association for Rehabilitation Leadership division, and Ray knows that this division will certainly benefit from her active and energetic vision."
Sierra Group team and Governor Rendell 'race for the cure' to wipe out
Seth, Patrice, Gov. Rendell and the group.
Fiore elected - Two Year National Leadership Position
Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group, a leading authority on disability and employment, becomes President Elect of the National Association for Rehabilitation Leaders, the premier leadership forum for professionals working in the area of vocational rehabilitation, across the country. Fiore will serve with President, Eleanor Williams. To join NARL or learn more about cutting edge opportunities for leaders in the field.
Janet Fiore, CEO The Sierra Group, Inc. to moderate Transition: A New Perspective of the Changing Environment of Vocational Rehabilitation at the 2010 PRA Professional Development Institute
Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group will participate in the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association's annual Professional Development Institute. Fiore will moderate a session led by PA OVR Executive Director, William Gannon.
1:45 PM PLENARY SESSION
Transition: A New Perspective of the Changing Environment of Vocational Rehabilitation
William Gannon, Executive Director, PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation
Moderated by Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group
Leveraging Change: New Days, New Ways
Thursday, April 22, 2010
Harrisburg Area Community College
8:30 PM - 4:30 PM
Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group presented at the National Rehabilitation Association's 29th annual Government Affairs Summit
Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group, and President-Elect of the National Association of Rehabilitation Leaders joined with Kent Keyser, Chief of Staff for Congressman Nick Rahall in a plenary address the opening day of the 2010 Governmental Affairs Summit in Washington, DC.
FROM CAPITOL HILL TO CONSUMER, AND BACK AGAIN - One Man's Journey
Kent Keyser, Chief of Staff, Congressman Nick Rahall, & Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group.
We at The Sierra Group are committed to driving up employment for people with disabilities including veterans. In our Candidate Sourcing, Workforce Strategy and Vocational Rehabilitation divisions we have the privilege of serving businesses, agencies and consumers on a daily basis.
Never has that privilege touched me more than when I had the opportunity to assist Kent Keyser in his journey back to work. All of us at The Sierra Group fully support Kent's desire to engage in research that can help him continue working full time, while helping others in the future to be more able to do the same. Please read the below letter written by a group of Kent's friends. We hope that Kent's story will inspire you to share and support the benefits of extensive and ongoing physical therapy as part of the vocational rehabilitation process. Janet Fiore.
Read KENT'S STORY - from the viewpoint of some friends. MS Word - 24 K (opens in a new browser window)
GIFT WILL HELP SIERRA GROUP FOUNDATION FIND JOBS FOR VETERANS WITH DISABILITIES
The Sierra Group Foundation has announced that in 2010 it will reach out to job-seeking veterans with disabilities via a holiday gift from the military-to-civilian recruiting firm RecruitMilitary, LLC. The Sierra Group Foundation is a 501(c) (3) non-profit organization whose mission is to cut the high unemployment rate of people with disabilities.
Read the full press release in PDF format. 59 K (opens in a new browser window)
Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group, Inc. article published in Liberty Works Magazine
Liberty Works (Fall 2009 Vol 29, No.3, pp10-11) magazine publishes Janet Fiore's article Disability, Accessibility, & the Job Market.
Janet writes: With the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reporting a slight dip in the jobless rate to 9.5 percent in September, many Americans may be breathing a collective sigh of relief that we are at last turning the corner on the economic woes that have plagued us for the past year.
But for people with disabilities, it is not yet time to exhale. This community of people with disabilities has long experienced an unemployment rate that far outstrips America's most recent labor pains - even with passage of the Americans with Disabilities Act more than 20 years ago. Why?
Read the full article Disability, Accessibility, & the Job Market. PDF - 1.3 MB (opens a new browser window)
The Sierra Group's Michael Fiore leads a job development session as part of the Taste of Technology Open House Event for Liberty Resources Academy. Michael routinely speaks to veterans and job-seekers with disabilities about return to work and educational opportunities available to them in the greater Philadelphia area.
Text transcript of video
[Michael Fiore of The Sierra Group Inc. standing and speaking at the head of the classroom]
"Well, today veterans in our area got up to speed on the latest technology at Liberty Resource Academy at 714 Market Street for a Taste of Technology day. The event was created to give disabled veterans some job training and as you can see here veterans spent the day at training modules honing their critical thinking and writing skills. The next Taste of Technology event will be held September 23rd."
ADA Amendments Act - What you NEED to know!
READ this article by leading experts, Janet Fiore, CEO & Jill Fisher, Esq.
The July 2009 edition of Counterpoint, The Official Publication of the Pennsylvania Defense Institute features an article written by subject matter experts Janet Fiore, The Sierra Group, and Jill Fisher, Esquire, Zarwin, Baum, DeVito, Kaplan, Schaer, Toddy, P.C. Pennsylvania Defense Institute Counterpoint July 2009
This published article is a quick reference for any hiring manager, human resource or rehabilitation professional who needs a clear, factual update on the changes to this important piece of civil rights legislation. Fiore and Fisher consult and speak on this topic locally, regionally and nationally. Contact us for more information on a presentation or consultation.
Read the full article in PDF format. 372 K (opens in a new browser window)
RecruitMilitary, Sierra Group, Workplace Tech Foundation Develop New Hiring Process for Veterans with Disabilities;
Janet Fiore, Chief Executive Officer of the Sierra Group, said "Our firm is honored to provide our services to companies wanting to hire veterans with disabilities. At a time when there is so much negative publicity about the plight of our soldiers, sailors, airmen, and Marines as they return from war, there are so many positive opportunities for veterans with disabilities in the workforce. Our role in this collaboration is a natural addition to our existing cadre of services that are ALL geared to reversing the rate of unemployment for people with disabilities in America. We are eager to make sure that all of the companies that want to make a commitment to these men and women with disabilities can overcome any barrier to doing so."
Disability Mentoring Day Training Session Gives Disabled New Job-Seeking Skills.
On October 20, 2009 Liberty Resources Academy, Regional Host for National Disability Mentoring Day, together with The Sierra Group, & keynote speaker, Michelle Grossman, NBC 10 meteorologist help celebrate National Disability Mentoring Day 2009
Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group gave a presentation in the morning called &The Power of Relationships&, an afternoon session for business mentors on the recent changes in the ADA Amendments Act, and served as moderator for the day. Keynote address was given by NBC 10, Meterologist, Michelle Grossman. 25 regional businesses attended and met with and assisted 40 regional job seekers with disabilities.
Janet Fiore Receives National Rehabilitation Association's JPD Lou Ortale Award.
On September 11, 2009, Janet Fiore was the recipient of the 2009 National Rehabilitation Association's JPD Lou Ortale Award at a banquet in Louisville, Kentucky. The Lou Ortale Award is presented annually to a rehabilitation professional that embodies Ortale's spirit and dedication to identifying job modification or placement opportunities for individuals who have disabling conditions.
Janet accepted her award and presented on "Interfacing between job placement professional, consumer and business". Later in the afternoon Janet and Mr. Carl Marshall, M.ED, CRC, LPC jointly presented on "ADA Amendments Act of 2008, A practical look".
United Collection Bureau, Inc. (UCB, Inc.) Ohio Employer of the Year for Hiring People with Disabilities!
Photo: left to right - Vickie Periano-Thompson - UCB, Inc.; Terri Zeigler - UCB, Inc.; Dustin Grand - staff; Jeff Horner - UCB, Inc.; Jennifer Brunner - Ohio Secretary of State; Janet Fiore - The Sierra Group, Inc.
The Sierra Group applauds UCB, Inc. on receiving Employer of the Year from the Ohio Governors Commission on Disability. "UCB, Inc. has been both dedicated and profitable as a result of hiring candidates with disabilities through us," said Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group. "using our business to business consultative recruiting model, UCB has integrated more than 30 employees with disabilities into their Ohio workforce." In a tight economy when layoffs prevail, and candidates are numerous, UCB's Vickie Thompson stated that "we always recruit more candidates with disabilities. They've strengthened our workforce in more ways than I ever expected."
See the press release (PDF-22K) to learn how UCB, Inc. and The Sierra Group plan to take the model to the community at large.
Read the ThisWeek newspaper article, State names local firm UCB as Employer of the Year.
For more information please go to the Program Archives tab of WUAR Upper Arlington Radio to hear an interview with UCB's Columbus manager, Vickie Thompson, and Janet Fiore of The Sierra Group, Inc.. Once the On-demand player pops up select show which is labeled: Talk@Ten 9 3 09.
Expanding and Strengthening Business Collaborations:
The Sierra Group Foundation and the Pennsylvania Business Leadership Network Working Together!
The Sierra Group Foundation is excited to announce our collaboration with The Pennsylvania Business Leadership Network (PA BLN). The over-all goal of this partnership is to build relationships with Pennsylvania businesses including small and mid-sized companies, accountants, and lawyers to spread the word and provide education regarding the benefits of hiring and/or increasing employment of people with disabilities including veterans.
Liberty Resources Academy, Regional Host for National Disability Mentoring Day, together with The Sierra Group, & keynote speaker, Michelle Grossman, NBC 10 meteorologist Celebrate National Disability Mentoring Day 2009
LIVE PRESENTATION! October 20, 2009 - Philadelphia, PA. "A Practical Look at the ADA Amendments Act of 2008" by: Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group, Inc. This training will be included in the day's agenda for National Disability Mentoring Day at Liberty Resources Academy, 714 Market Street, Philadelphia. Working in collaboration with The Liberty Resources Academy, regional host of Disability Mentoring Day, (DMD) Fiore will address this timely topic for the business mentors during this special event. For more details on being a Mentor, or Mentee for this year's DMD event at Liberty Resources, Inc. There will also be an interactive workshop including Mentors and Mentees with disabilities. Michael Fiore will give closing remarks. Register for Disability Mentoring Day.
Michael Fiore and Seth Acosta to speak at the 2009 Pennsylvania Community on Transition Conference: Success by Design on July 22 and July 23rd….at Penn State- Main Campus.
Seth Acosta to speak on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at 1:45 p.m. His presentation is entitled: Electronic Resumes: Changing the Face of Competition.
View or download Electronic Resumes: Changing the Face of Competition. PowerPoint - 231K
Technological shifts continue to alter the methods by which job-seekers compete for employment. Understanding the latest trends offers a universal advantage for all persons seeking employment.
The purpose of the resume is to get an interview, not a job. As we move forward as a competitive society, the task of gaining an interview is becoming more difficult due to a number of fundamental (and universal) shifts in the way resumes are submitted, reviewed, and decided upon. Gone are the days of “real people” sifting through 5-7 different resumes in an attempt to match the most qualified person with the job for which they are best fit. In today's world, it is no longer survival of the fittest – instead, those that survive and grow in these times are the individuals who understand how information is received, analyzed, and interpreted. This presentation will provide insights designed to support universal competition in the ever-growing world of electronic based job-boards.
The reason this information is so essential for transitioning students, and the parents of transitioning students is because the competitive edge continues to shrink. The difference between the candidate who gets the interview and the individual who does not, may be something as minor as using bullet points on their resume, or providing an appropriate e-mail address or telephone number. Also, because of the tightening job market, transitioning students will be competing with professionals who already have extensive experience in the workforce. By understanding how electronic job boards operate, transitioning students can increase their workplace competitiveness, despite having less experience than some of their competing counterparts.
Attendees will gain insights into the following:
- Ways in which to format and style a resume to maximize competitive result,
- The most effective language recognized by electronic job boards,
- The most successful job boards for varying fields and industries of interest,
- Do's and Don'ts of posting resumes on electronic job boards
The presentation will occur through analysis of actual cases from which the proposed conclusions have been drawn. It will include a basic PowerPoint presentation, but will also offer a large degree of audience interaction throughout.
Michael Fiore and Joan Shindel (OVR-York) to speak on July 23, 2009 at 10 AM. Their topic is – Beyond Assistive Technology: Essentials for the College Student.
View or download Beyond Assistive Technology: Essentials for the College Student. PowerPoint - 1713K
The college learning experience today is radically different from just five years ago because of the same technology innovations that have made our whole world a more interconnected space. Library collections are electronic, classes maintain blogs and wiki's to share information and research, self-directed student teams (an increasingly evident part of the learning process) meet electronically, and information (and distraction) is everywhere, all of the time. This presentation will communicate effective strategies to use today's technology, in an accommodating format, to provide universal access for student's to:
- Capture meaningful class notes that support their individual studying needs,
- Manage their time and projects in a proactive schedule that can be remotely supported by parents or other team members,
- Develop research and paper writing outlines that support college level learning objectives,
- Create compelling narrative while conforming to APA or MLA writing formats,
- Attain high levels of functional reading comprehension,
- Develop independent critical thinking skills using templates in MS Word, and to
- Leverage MS Excel for mathematic and computational enhancement.
Additionally, off-the-shelf technology tools such as scanners, macro keyboards, and digital recorders/pens will be reviewed. The intent of this element will be to demonstrate how access to these components can support successful transition into college by maximizing functional ability. While leveraging the right technology for the student is critical, these case studies will also review identification and evaluation triggers that are important when aligning the tools to the person. Innovative counseling and case management methods that use an interdisciplinary screening approach allow students, parents, and educators to ask questions that identify those who can benefit from technology and training early in the transition process. This presentation will communicate tips to identify each student's unique technology indicators. The information shared has been developed by evidence-based field work involving students with a variety of disabilities who have transitioned to college. The presentation will seek to communicate how several identification, evaluation, technology, and training concepts can be adapted by attendees to meet a variety of needs. Attendees will leave with specific information on the resources reviewed in the presentation.
The Sierra Group's CRC, Jackie Pickering featured article in AHIP publication.
Sierra's consultant describes the current economic condition as a "call to action" for Rehab Professionals trying to assist a person with a disability with a return-to-work.” Her article, Managing Disability Claims in Today's Economy, addresses ways that Vocational Rehabilitation professionals can get the most out of this "half-filled glass", says Pickering.
Michael and Janet Fiore to present at The 10th Employment Supports Symposium.
Networks for Training and Development, Inc. are presenting The 10th Employment Supports Symposium.
Cultivating Partnerships & Improving Practices
Michael will present on May 22 from 10:30AM to 11:15AM. The title of his presentation is "Financial Incentives for Business".
CEO Janet Fiore will address the role of an Employment Network during various sessions throughout the conference.
A Pennsylvania Employment conference for People with Disabilities.
May 20 - 22, 2009
Hyatt Regency, Penns Landing
Registration is via firstname.lastname@example.org
For more information the website is www.networksfortraining.org.
Rohm & Haas video interview with Michael and Janet Fiore.
The Sierra Group joined with Rohm and Haas to celebrate National Disability Mentoring Day 2008 on Thursday, October 16, 2008. Stacey Adams, Global Diversity Director for Rohm & Haas and Company, imovements interviewed Michael and Janet Fiore. The topics included "disabilities in the workforce", accommodations, and competing in the Global Environment.
View the video. 11 minutes 16 seconds (opens in Windows Media Player in a new browser window)
Read the transcript in text format. (opens in a new browser window)
The Sierra Group welcomes Attorney Jill Fisher Esquire, as an expert contributor on compliance issues.
We welcome Attorney Jill Fisher, Esquire, as an expert contributor on compliance issues. In her article "The ADA Amendment Act of 2008, What should I do now?" she analyzes the implications to employers of recent ADA legislation.
Abstract: The ADA Amendments Act (“ADA/AA”), which became effective January 1, 2009, expands the scope of the Americans With Disabilities Act (“ADA”) with a number of changes designed to broaden the Supreme Court's and the EEOC's interpretation of the term “disability.” Specifically, the changes expand the definitions of the terms "major bodily function," “major life activity,” and “substantially limits.” Other changes involve the use of “mitigating measures” in determining whether an individual is disabled and the “regarded as” prong of the definition of a disabled person. Given that the landscape of "individuals with disabilities" will be significantly enlarged by the amendments to the ADA, employers should implement preventative measures to ensure compliance with the ADA/AA, including adequate training for supervisors and proper documentation of employment decisions.
Janet Fiore serves an appointment to the Board of the Pennsylvania Institute on Assistive Technology.
Janet Fiore serves an appointment to the Board of the Pennsylvania Institute on Assistive Technology. As an entrepreneur with a disability, Fiore is pleased to share her personal interactions with accommodations that allow her to lead her company, and her projects in The Sierra Group's Workforce Strategy and Candidate Sourcing Divisions. The Sierra Group, a PA based, firm also works regionally and nationally providing one to one rehabilitation engineering and assistive technology (AT) assessments for individuals of all ages looking for greater independence at home, school and at work. Fiore stated, "when the project director, Amy Goldman personally asked me to serve, given my unique insights into the world of assistive technology, (personally and professionally) I was honored to agree."
AT@Work – Assistive Technology in the Workplace – Train-the- Trainer Training Sponsored by the PA Assistive Technology and Employment Collaborative
Janet Fiore, a community board member of the Pennsylvania Initiative on Assistive Technology, recommends this exciting training program.
This is a four-hour training designed for individuals who have a basic knowledge of and a strong interest in the use of assistive technology in the workplace to facilitate the recruitment, hiring, retention, and advancement of employees with disabilities. All participants in the training are expected to replicate portions of the training curriculum to employers/business owners, human resources and other professionals, providers, individuals with disabilities, and anyone with an interest in the employment of people with disabilities. Each participating agency or organization will receive a full training package, including a training notebook, CD containing all training materials in accessible formats, training DVDs, low-tech assistive technology devices, and other training materials and resources.
Wednesday, June 3, 2009
10 am – 3 pm
Lunch will be provided
Three Rivers Center for Independent Living 900 Rebecca Avenue, Pittsburgh, PA 15221-2997 For directions: http://www.trcil.org/contact.htm#Directions
Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group, to present at the Transportation Intermediaries Association's Annual Convention & Trade Show.
The Director of Education and Development at the Transportation Intermediaries Association (TIA) has invited Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group to present at their annual Convention (April 2, 2009 - San Antonio, TX) Fiore will speak to financial incentives for hiring Americans with disabilities including veterans as a panelist during a two hour session entitled: "Compensation Structures That Work in Good Times & Bad".
For more information or to register visit: www.tianet.org.
Jackie Pickering, Sr. Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant, will be presenting at the JHA Dynamics Conference.
Jackie Pickering, Sr. Vocational Rehabilitation Consultant, will be presenting at the JHA Dynamics Conference in Bonita Springs, Florida on Thursday, March 5, 2009 on Shifting Labor Markets and New Occupations.
This workshop will cover:
*New trends in the labor market and the impact the economic downturn has on certain segments
*Evaluating true transferability of skills
*How to repackage/rebrand an insured
*How a changing labor market impacts management of disability claims
Michael Fiore and Carl Marshall of Sierra Group will be presenting the ADA Amendments Act, A Renewed Promise
The Americans With Disabilities Act (ADA) was designed to eliminate discrimination because of a current, past, or perceived disability. Court decisions dismissed many ADA claims brought by workers, due to failure to meet the definition of disability. Thus, workers with disabilities were often dismissed, rather than accommodated. Learn how the ADA Amendments Act of 2008 (ADAAA) reinstates the civil rights protections to millions of job applicants and employees by renewing the original intent of the ADA, how employers can prevent workplace discrimination, and provide reasonable accommodations in the employment process and America's workplace.
2009 Professional Development Institute
April 2, 2009
8:30 AM to 4:30 PM
Harrisburg Area Community College
C. Ted Lick Wildwood Conference Center, Harrisburg, PA
Registration will be available mid-February.
For additional information, please visit the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association website located at http://www.nationalrehab.org/pennsylvania
or by contacting Joan Kester at 202-489-7112 or email@example.com.
Job Fair and Career Symposium a Success! Jacksonville, Florida - Nov. 21st, 2008
More than 200 job seekers with disabilities attended the Job Fair and Career Symposium sponsored by The Sierra Group and RecruitMilitary at the World Congress on Disability Expo. Career symposium sponsors from The Travelers, Amerigroup, Nuclear Regulatory Commission and Worksource joined with representatives of the Florida BLN, Suntrust Bank and others in looking for talent among our diverse group of candidates.
Attendees met with recruiters, applied for jobs, got 'interview tips' and signed up to participate in the World's first Disability and Employment customized, open sourced search engine! (visit: www.onemoreway.org).
The Sierra Group presents at the The New York Chapter of International Association of Rehabilitation Professionals
Promoting the availability of effective, interdisciplinary services for persons with disabilities.
FALL Educational Conference
Thurs. Nov. 20th, 2008
Telephone # (315) 455-7591.
Jackie Pickering, CRC and Michael Fiore, MBA, Rehab Engineer will speak on Federal legislative updates, trends in electronic job search and the shifting labor market in a global economy.
Sierra Group CEO does 10 City – 10 Week Tour to Drive up Employment for Americans with Disabilities.
Red Letter Day for Americans with Disabilities:
New ADA becomes Law AND Ten Cities, Ten Weeks to Drive up Employment Tour Launches:
Developed by The Sierra Group Foundation, the One More Way collaborative will be a central focus of a ten-city, ten-week national tour that will help introduce the initiative's revolutionary approach to increasing employment among workers and veterans with disabilities.
September 25 – Columbus, Ohio
October 2 – Columbus, Ohio
October 3 – Wellesley, Massachusetts
October 8 – Portland, Oregon
October 16 – Philadelphia, Pennsylvania
October 17 – Dublin, Ohio
October 25 – St. Louis, Missouri
November 1 – Trevose, Pennsylvania
November 3 – Lancaster, Pennsylvania
November 20 – Syracuse, New York
November 21 – Jacksonville, Florida
Sierra Group joins with Rohm and Haas to Celebrate National Disability Mentoring Day 2008
The Sierra Group, Regional Coordinator, and Rohm and Haas, Corporate Sponsor, produced a day-long event including:
The morning session connected job seekers with disabilities to employers who have jobs in local businesses. The focus was on one to one mock interviews, as well as personal ‘mentoring time'. Special thanks to the Stacy Kyle of the PA Business Leadership Network (BLN) for serving as this year's Mentee Coordinator.
During the noon hour, an Assistive Technology Demonstration Area with demonstrations of the latest assistive technology was held in the lobby area, supplemented by product information and resources. Special thanks to Amanda Reinsfelder of PIAT and Chris Hyson of Liberty Resources, Inc. for making this educational presentation available to all interested parties.
The afternoon session highlighted a presentation on “Disability in a Global Economy”. Michael G. Fiore, BSE, MBA & CFO of The Sierra Group made this informative presentation to Rohm and Haas personnel and invited business leaders to further the understanding of the impact that disability has on the global economy and global workforce. Special Guest Simon Cantos, an Engineer with a disability, told his own story of success in confirming employment.
Special thanks to Jackie Pickering of the Sierra Group, Regional Coordinator and Kristie King, Rohm & Haas, Regional Host Coordinator, for their hard work making this a successful Disability Mentoring Day.
Janet Fiore to attend a Summit on Disability Employment Policy
Janet Fiore will attend a Summit on Disability Employment Policy, Transforming the Workplace:A 21st-Century Vision, hosted by the Office of Disability Employment Policy, United States Department of Labor.
The summit and reception feature experts in the disability employment field and a pictorial exhibit on disability and Americans with disabilities at work.
June 3 & 4 2008 - Kellogg Conference Hotel at Gallaudet University.
The Sierra Group Foundation launches "One More Way."
On April 18, 2008, The Sierra Group Foundation will launch One More Way. One More Way is a national forum created in response to all of you who tell us that "it's hard to get connected."
The Sierra Group Foundation, through this one of a kind national program will serve as ‘One More Way' to bring everyone together to see that job seekers with disabilities - starting with veterans, get connected to the people, the programs and the specific businesses who are out there looking to work with them. It's all too easy to get lost in the process. This effort will bring key players together to clear up confusion and create new connections when none have been established. The One More Way initiative serves as a forum for all parties involved in the area of disability and employment to come together to do together what we cannot do alone.
One More Way Fact Sheet. PDF - 130 K
Denise Barnes joins Sierra Group's Workplace Foundation
Well known advocate, Denise Barnes, joins Sierra Group's Workplace Foundation board as Vice Chair. Denise manages the sales force for bank loans at Washington Mutual, Tampa Florida where she combines her extraordinary people skills with her passion regarding workplace success through inclusion. Denise was lured back to corporate America after a very successful post serving as the Business to Business Connections director for Enable America. Desiring to stay connected to the community of friends she made while working at Enable America, Denise is proud to accept the position of Vice Chair, at Sierra Group's Workplace Foundation.
“Really, the foundation of every workplace is its people” says Barnes. “After working in the area of employment and disability, I became quite impassioned regarding the absolute need to include people with disabilities into corporate diversity plans.”
Together with her ally, board chair, Janet Fiore, Denise will address the invited guests in on the upcoming launch of the Foundation's One More Way Collaborative in Washington DC, April 18th..
The Sierra Group is a participating provider at the Transition & Benefits Fair at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
The Sierra Group continues to assist veterans find employment! We are honored to be a participating provider at the Transition & Benefits Fair at the Walter Reed Army Medical Center.
"The Transition & Benefits Fair is a partnership endeavor for service members and the community. Come out and take advantage of The American Legion Heroes to Hometowns network of providers ready to provide you transition, employment information and benefit resources to assist you as you transition from the military."
Wednesday, April 23, 2008
4 p.m.-7 p.m.
Walter Reed Army Medical Center - building 41 (Old Red Cross Building)
For more information see the Transition & Benefits Fair flyer. PDF - 399 K
The Matthew Ryan Center at Villanova University has appointed Michael Fiore to its' Council of Advisors.
The Ryan Center for the Study of Free Institutions and the Pubic Good at Villanova promotes inquiry into the processes and principles of free government and seeks to advance understanding of the responsibilities of statesmen and citizens of constitutional democratic societies. For information on Ryan Center events and lectures, visit the Matthew Ryan Center at Villanova University.
Janet Fiore will give keynote address at the Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern PA "Get In the Know" conference
On April 12, 2008 Janet Fiore will give the keynote address at the Epilepsy Foundation of Eastern PA "Get in the Know" conference. Janet's topic is "Planning YOUR Success."
This half-day conference will provide up-to-date information about options assessing medical benefits, employment and legal resources for people living with epilepsy/seizure disorder.
This conference is free and open to the public. Registration is required for proper planning. For further information, call 215.6 29.5003 ext. 103 or PA only 800.887.7165 ext. 103. You may also e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org.
April 12, 2008 - 8 a.m.
Thomas Jefferson University Bluemle Life Sciences Building
Conference Brochure Front-Page JPEG 302 K
Conference Brochure Inside Page JPEG 358 K
Janet Fiore will present, "Hire Heroes USA: A business approach to hiring"
On February 14, Janet Fiore will present, "Hire Heroes USA: A business approach to hiring" before the Army National Guard Task Force in Annville, PA.
Janet Fiore will present, "The Aging Workforce: Old Isn't What it Used to Be - Recruiting and Retaining an Experienced Market"
On March 6, 2008, Janet Fiore will present A workshop, "The Aging Workforce: Old Isn't What it Used to Be - Recruiting and Retaining an Experienced Market."
In this energetic and interactive training session, Janet Fiore will review relevant research on the topic of disability and age; while also debunking statements such as “some people with disabilities could never work.”
Attendees will learn:
- how to access resources to recruit and maintain competitive employees from a shrinking base of workers.
- how to combine traditional accommodations with deliberate and proactive ergonomic interventions.
- how to identify
and accommodate for age related visual, mobility or pain issues that can
productivity and performance.
The workshop is offered through the Ohio Business Leadership Network from a grant from the Governor's Council on People with Disabilities in
The workshop is on March 6, 2008, from 2:00-4 PM.
Place: New York Life
485 Metro Place South, Suite 350
Dublin, Ohio 43017
"I have never had this many register so fast-amazing! Thank you, Lynn Aspey MS, Director, Business Relations, Jewish Family Services."
The Sierra Group Inc. is joining with AIG to host a Mentoring Event for Job Seekers with Disabilities
On 2/20/08, The Sierra Group Inc. is joining with AIG to host a Mentoring Event for Job Seekers with Disabilities. The focus of the event will be matching Job Seekers who are interested in business careers to current AIG employees who are performing positions where the job duties are the same or similar to the Job Seeker's goals.
Click here for more information about AIG Mentoring Day.
Janet Fiore gives closing Keynote at Bucknell University
On Oct. 16, 2007 Janet Fiore gave the closing Keynote address at Bucknell University during the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce's Women's Leadership Symposium. Fiore's talk; “Untapped Potential” left the attendees of the day's Visions and Connections conference on an insightful and positive note. Attendee Lisa Erickson said,
"I just wanted to let you know how much the Country Cupboard group enjoyed Janet Fiore's program yesterday. She is remarkable. It was a great way to end the day."
To book Janet Fiore for your event, call 800.973.7687.
Visit their website for more information about the Greater Susquehanna Valley Chamber of Commerce.
Janet Fiore gives expertise in a panel discussion on The American Law Journal TV show
Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group, was the Vocational Rehabilitation Expert on the October 22, 2007 Law Journal Television show. The show aired on 42 cable channels. Along with Judge Geoffrey Dlin, Attorney Mark Schmidt, and Attorney Matthew Wynn, Janet Fiore examined how vocational rehabilitation can be improved to assist those Pennsylvania workers receiving Workers Compensation. The show discussed the following:
Workers Comp & Vocational Rehabilitation
- What provides the central crux of tension primarily between petitioners and respondents around the issue of vocational rehabilitation?
- Has vocational rehab always been a part of Pennsylvania's Workers compensation law?
- What have been the trends over the past few years that have made vocational rehabilitation a hotter, more highly contested issue?
- Can vocational rehabilitation be a ‘trap' for the unwary?
- Are the latest trends (from June 2007) demonstrating some movement in the direction of benefiting the injured worker/claimant?
- The Pennsylvania
Department of Labor and Industry issued new regulations for vocational
counselors in June 2007. Relevant items are:
- (1) Insurance Companies must disclose to injured worker any financial interest they have with vocational counselors BEFORE interview is scheduled
- (2) counselor must disclose role/relationship with employee in writing BEFORE vocational interview
- (3) counselor need NOT be "approved" by the Department as was required by Act 57, but must meet minimum requirements outlined INCLUDING adherence to Code of Ethics and
- (4) VERY SPECIFIC time limits on when the vocational counselor sends reports to the injured worker - not just to the insurance company as had been done in the past..
- Compare the ‘independent' medical exam to vocational rehabilitation— in what ways do they share common characteristics?
Janet continued to advocate for a person centered approach in creating meaningful accommodation and return to work strategies for injured workers.
Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group, joins the Board of Trustees for the Delaware Valley Eye Bank.
Every year in the United States more than 46,000 people have their sight restored through corneal transplantation, and hundreds of thousands of people benefit from medical research and education made possible by donated eye tissue. The Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley works 365 days a year to provide more than 800 local residents each year with the highest quality and safest corneal tissue available. Support the "Gift of Sight" program. Learn about the Eye Bank and make the decision to become a donor.
The Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley has provided sight to nearly 20,000 individuals since its inception in 1957. From the beginning, the Eye Bank has been supported by the Lions Clubs of Delaware, New Jersey and southeast Pennsylvania. As a local business leader, Fiore is the first ever non-Lion to be asked to serve as a trustee. Fiore says, "The Eye Bank allows miracles to happen every day. Restoring sight to over 800 Delaware Valley residents each year is an awesome undertaking and I'm excited to be a part of this effort." Every year in the United States more than 46,000 people have their sight restored through corneal transplantation, and hundreds of thousands of people benefit from medical research and education made possible by donated eye tissue. The Lions Eye Bank of Delaware Valley works 365 days a year to provide local residents each year with the highest quality and safest corneal tissue available.
The Sierra Group joins forces with HireHeroesUSA.org.
The Sierra Group is proud to announce we are the chosen agent for Candidate Sourcing for the exciting new Hire Heroes Program. Hire Heroes is a business driven initiative with a goal of matching up returning veterans with disabilities to its partner businesses across America. A program of the Health Careers Foundation, Hire Heroes is proud to offer job openings around the country with leading companies to Veterans with Disabilities.
“The Sierra Group is proud to join forces with Hire Heroes as a candidate sourcing partner,” said Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group. “We will work with our business partners across America to find the right healthcare career fit for our returning heroes.”
View the press release.
View or download the general overview. PDF - 70 K
The Sierra Group Inc. and Wachovia Presented Local Event to Mark 2007 National Disability Employment Awareness Month
Over 16,000 people attended Disability Mentoring Day events across the nation. The program that was created to promote career development for students and job seekers with disabilities through job shadowing, hands-on career exploration and other employment related activities. The Sierra Group Inc., a full service disability management firm in King of Prussia, has served as the Eastern PA Regional Coordinator for this event over the past 5 years. This year they were joined by Wachovia who offered to host the interactive mentoring event at their Center City Philadelphia headquarters. Read more about the recent Disability Mentoring Day.
Janet Fiore to speak at US Business Leadership Network's 10th Annual Conference.
Janet Fiore to speak at the US Business Leadership Network's 10th Annual Conference and 2nd Annual National Career Fair at the Orlando's Buena Vista Palace and Spa on September 25, 2007.
Janet's topic is “Disability and Age: Old Isn't What it Used to Be”.
"Given the economic need for business to retain the talents of the aging worker, and the fact that 55 is when most Americans start to show health disorders and impairments, the approach that will be described begins to assess and accommodate this group of workers in the areas of vision, repetitive stress and mobility/pain issues."
What Is Candidate Sourcing?
Having the right person available at the right time can be the difference between profit and loss for a business. Proactive candidate sourcing allows Sierra Group to develop a pool of qualified candidates for our corporate partners so that we can help them quickly respond to an organizational need - this is especially valuable to those organizations that have high turnover or high growth rates. Our constant recruiting and evaluation efforts allow us to develop a list of available and motivated candidates that can seamlessly flow into existing accessible hiring practices so that critical positions can be filled quickly with the right people. For those candidates with disabilities that qualify for our sourcing program we can offer them unfettered and high level access to the people that make the hiring decisions for our corporate partners. Candidate sourcing ensures that the right people are where the jobs are when the jobs are there. Email email@example.com for more information.
Janet Fiore interviewed by Monstor.com regarding disability policy and practice for business.
Janet Fiore interviewed by Monster.com regarding disability policy and practice for business. Addition: Noteworthy regarding legislation, Senator Ben Nelson (Democrat – Nebraska) continues to champion business friendly incentives for companies who have people with disabilities on staff.”
Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group, gives insight to Philadelphia Business Journal as they delve into The Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities.
Janet gives insight on how employers can recoup accommodation costs through tax incentives and credits in a March 30, 2007 Philadelphia Journal article, The Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities.
Janet Fiore, CEO of the Sierra Group and director of The National Breakfast Club, elected to the Board of Directors for WYBE Television in Philadelphia.
Fifteen years after its debut, WYBE continues as an alternative to traditional and public television. WYBE operates analog channel 35 and digital channel 34 in the Greater Philadelphia area. The station broadcasts to 2.9 million households in 11 counties. WYBE is owned by Independence Public Media of Philadelphia, or, as it is now known, Independence Media. The station provides a unique service aimed at highlighting diversity and multi-cultural communities that lack ongoing representation on any other broadcast outlet. Fiore states,"I am eager to take part in this board. Given my work and life commitments to diversity and community development, it will be a pleasure to be part of the WYBE team." Janet's term on the board expires September 1, 2010. For more information visit www.wybe.org.
MIND: Media Independence Launches Online and On Air as the New WYBE Channel 35
View or download the MIND TV press release. PDF - 213 K
CEO, Janet Fiore with US Senator Ben Nelson (Democrat - Nebraska) at the annual Gala for The American Association for People with Disabilities in Washington.
Click here for details on job creating legislation introduced by Senator Nelson.
On August 23, 2006 Janet Fiore spoke to 155 Female Business Executives at The Ritz Carlton Hotel in Philadelphia. Janet was a featured speaker at the Women's Business Development Center Executive Leadership Luncheon. Janet spoke about how to thrive in the face of adversity as part of the Women's Business Development Center (WBDC) and the Women's Business Enterprise Council (WBEC) for their “Lessons Learned on the Path to Leadership” series. Fiore shared her own story of leadership, diversity and surviving change as she grew her business while battling breast cancer and the surviving the death of the bones in her hips.
View the press release of the leadership panel. PDF - 17 K
For more information on The Sierra Group, click on a category listed below:
- Recent Events and News
- Awards & Honors
- Publications & Press Releases
- History & Purpose
- Frequently Asked Questions
- Consulting Expertise
- Janet Fiore speaks about "Candidate Sourcing" at the September Tucson National Rehabilitation Association's Conference.
- Janet Fiore speaks at "TUESDAY TALKS" with the PA Business Leadership Network (BLN).
- Janet Fiore is the featured guest lecturer at Wilmington College.
- Janet Fiore speaks at the Pennsylvania Association of Vocational Education Special Needs Personnel (PAVESNP) 2007 Mid-Winter Conference
- Michael Fiore elected as Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of Pennsylvania Governor's Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities
- Janet Fiore joins the faculty of the World Congress & Expo on Disabilities.
- The Sierra Group serves as local coordinator for National Disability Mentoring Day
- Waiver/Funding for Assistive Technology, Michael Fiore, The Sierra Group.
- Sierra Group client makes NEWS during her job search
- Janet Fiore speaks at the Philadelphia Enable America Business to Business Breakfast.
- Janet Fiore speaks at the Enable America Community Connection Forum.
- Janet Fiore moderates a two-part panel discussion entitled "Pathways to Leadership" at the Rally Around Rehab conference at the Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association Professional Development Institute.
- The Sierra Group helps create legislation that is called "a win for America's disabled veterans and all persons with severe disabilities and it's a win for America's taxpayers."
- The Sierra Group is featured in a Microsoft Press produced book, "Accessible Technology in Today's Business: Case Studies for Success"
- Sierra Group Sponsors a Recycling Technology Program to help people with disabilities gain access to low-cost computers
- The Sierra Group speaks at the Agilient Technologies Abilities Day
- The Sierra Group speaks before the Delaware Society for Human Resource Managers
- The Sierra Group was on a panel at the 52nd annual Governor's Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.
- The Sierra Group speaks at the Workplace Accommodations: State of the Science Conference.
- Disability Awareness Night with the Phillies! Exceptional Parent Magazine & Mass Mutual Honor Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group, at pre game ceremony.
- The Sierra Group and Sierra Group's Workplace Foundation launch employmentincentives.com.
For Sierra Group news and events prior to August 2005, please read our press archives.
Janet Fiore spoke at the September National Rehabilitation Association's Annual Training Conference at the Hilton Tuscon El Conquistador Golf and Tennis Resort in Tuscon, AZ.
Janet's topic was ”Candidate Sourcing – Using Business and Legislation for National Hiring Initiatives” This session reviews the successful combination of business needs, legislative initiatives, and hiring incentives. Sierra Group's national employment model maximizes the efforts of public and private vocational rehabilitation programs while targeting specific business expansion opportunities for people with disabilities to work in customer service and health care industries.
On June 12, 2007, as an expert in accessible hiring practices, ADA, Section 508, and assistive technology, Janet Fiore spoke about those issues as the featured expert for the PA BLN "Tuesday Talks".
More information on the "Tuesday Talks" program. Word - 74 K
More information on the Pennsylvania Business Leadership Network.
On Monday, March 26, 2007, Janet Fiore gave an interactive presentation at Wilmington College on the "practical application" of the Americans with Disabilities Act.
On March 5, 2007, Janet Fiore spoke at the PAVESNP 2007 Mid-Winter Conference. The topic of the conference was "State Initiatives and Special Populations in Career and Technical Education."
Janet spoke on AT with a focus on - what do employers need and want (rather than focus on students, pointing out that EDUCATION is to prepare students for EMPLOYMENT)? The point being flip the thinking/teaching = flip the results!
Here is what two attendees had to say about Janet's presentation:
"Thank you again for your most enlightening presentation. I learned so much about assistive devises that would help a student grow in their reading levels, and other supports to help them in becoming employable. I really learned more in your hour presentation then I have over my many years of teaching service."
"Your presentation was well done and I believe all of the folks who participated in you session were thrilled with the material you shared. I heard comments by many participants that your session was very worthwhile, informative and practical. The content you shared addressed a gap. We all work with students who have low reading levels and we all want strategies ... and, any interventions we can get our hands on to help those students compensate for their low reading abilities."
On December 8, 2006 Michael Fiore was elected as Vice Chairman of the Executive Committee of Pennsylvania Governor's Committee for the Employment of People with Disabilities Conference.
While a general board member for the last five years, Michael will now be responsible for setting the agenda of this advisory group as it enhances its efforts to partner with business and industry to increase job opportunities for people with disabilities. Michael follows in the footsteps of Vice Chairman Connie Tarr who led the group for over 20 years.
Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group, has joined the faculty of the World Congress & Expo on Disabilities. As one of the industry experts leading educational forums at the expo, Ms. Fiore will make two presentations on Friday of this year's event. Her first presentation, “Fitting In - Today's Educational Experience & Disability,” is in the Education track at one o'clock. The second, “The Workforce of the Future – High Tech, High Touch, High Rate of Turnover,” is found in the Assistive Technology Track at three o'clock.
The three day expo will be held at the Pennsylvania Convention Center in Philadelphia, PA, November 17-19, 2006. This leading expo is designed to provide information, products and services to the disability community. For more information on the event, visit www.wcdexpo.com.
On October 18, The Sierra Group was the Regional Coordinator for National Disability Mentoring Day, and Mass Mutual Financial Group (Harris Fishman, Agency President, and Bruce Sham, Agency Vice President) was our gracious HOST company.
Mass Mutual Financial Group again reached out to individuals with disabilities in the greater Philadelphia area by sponsoring a very successful and informative mentoring event at their Bala Cynwyd Offices. The Sierra Group, Inc., a full service disability management firm in King of Prussia, served as the Regional Coordinator at the event that brought together job seekers with disabling conditions and HR staff from local corporations seeking the opportunity to include disability as part of their diversity plan. Corporate and community attendees who offered both their time and expertise to do one on one mock interviews, as well as offer “mentoring advice” included:
Participating companies included:
- Galia & Johnson Executive Search
- Olive Garden Restaurant
- PECO, an Exelon Company
- Rohm and Haas
Community organizations included the Mayor's Commission on People with Disabilities and Hireability, as well as the Springfield Township School District.
Both Bruce Sham, Agency VP at Mass Mutual and Janet Fiore, CEO of Sierra expressed their gratitude to all attendees, for taking this step toward reversing the rate of unemployment for people with disabilities. As often happens in this type of event, the true dialog between job seekers and corporate personnel resulted in their being heard acknowledging how much they learned from each other. Job seekers said they gained good insight into what traits/skills/experience employers seek out, and how to effectively present their own unique abilities. Corporate staff acknowledged the importance of the technical information (how to effectively access employment incentives, how 508 legislation will affect company policies, etc.) and the soft skills necessary to effectively address whether or not a candidate's disability will impact their ability to complete the essential functions of the job for which they are applying.
Asked how they knew the event was a success, both Sham and Fiore pointed out how no one seemed to want to leave the half day session and that all participants had requested to be included in any future events related to this successful mentoring day. They smiled and noted that whether you are leading or following, it is just as gratifying to see the light at the end of the tunnel.
On October 4, 2006, Michael Fiore gave a presentation entitled "Waiver/Funding for Assistive Technology" at the Wacky Wizards Conference, at Berks County Technical Institute (BCTI) located in Reading, PA.
Janet Fiore was on the planning committee and answered questions on "Assistive Technology as Accommodations" in the Exhibit area. Janet also assisted with Michael's remote presentation.
Captioned video of NBC 10 spotlighting job seeker Janice Wilson and the role of accessible technology in the workplace. WMV - 10 MB
If the file does not load correctly, right-click on the link above and copy it in the open URL of the File menu in Windows Media Player.
(Note: You must enable captions In Windows Media Player. For instructions on how to enable captions, see the accessibility page).
If you have trouble accessing the captioned video, you can right-click on the following zip file link and download the video to your computer. Unzip the file and follow the instructions in the read me text file.
NBC 10 captioned video of Janice Wilson. ZIP - 10 MB
Janet Fiore, CEO, will speak at the Enable America Business to Business Breakfast meeting. Janet's topic: "Accessible Hiring Toolkit" Let's get disability INTO diversity plans..
The Breakfast meeting is on September 13, 2006 at 8 a.m. at the Loews Hotel in Philadelphia, PA.
Enable America Business to Business Breakfast meeting press release. PDF - 47 K
Enable America Business to Business Breakfast meeting invitation. PDF - 45 K
Janet Fiore, CEO spoke at the Enable America Community Connection Forum at the Philadelphia Sheraton City Center Hotel on July 17, 2006. Enable America hosted the forum to promote awareness on the benefits of hiring people with disabilities.
Janet spoke as an expert on the needs and wants of business when hiring and accommodating workers with disabilities.
Janet Fiore moderated the two-part panel discussion entitled "Pathways to Leadership." National and local leaders from public and private rehabilitation provided insight regarding their own careers; then entertained questions and discussions from audience members regarding future and current leadership opportunities in Vocational Rehabilitation.
More details and registration information. PDF - 1.2 MB
The Sierra Group helped create legislation in what Nebraska Senator Ben Nelson describes as "a win for America's disabled veterans and all persons with severe disabilities and it's a win for America's taxpayers.”
An amendment sponsored by Nebraska's Senator Ben Nelson creates new well-paying jobs for disabled veterans and other persons with severe disabilities under the Tax Reconciliation Act of 2005, passed by the Senate.
The Sierra Group attended a meeting on February 15, 2006 with Senator Ben Nelson and others to discuss strategies for obtaining passage of his amendment.
See Senator Ben Nelson's press release. MS Word - 26 K
The amendment from the Congressional Record. PDF - 44 K
The book demonstrates to business that not only are accessible solutions available today that provide people with disabilities the essential tools they need to work, but it makes good business sense to do so.
The book covers in-depth case studies that show solutions, a discussion of the business value of providing accessible technology, what accessible technology means including information about products and the benefits of accessible technology to people with disabilities, a five-step process your organization can use to develop and execute a strategic accessible technology plan, important purchase considerations and tools, and a prediction of what the future holds for accessible technology.
Click here to read an interview from the book with Sierra Group Rehabilitation Engineer and Consultant, Michael Fiore. Michael offers insight and best practices based on Fiore's experiences of consulting with organizations that are integrating accessible technology. The interview was conducted by Microsoft Accessible Technology author Janice Hertz.
Recycle IT is a program of the Sierra Group's Workplace Foundation that provides people with disabilities seeking employment with low-cost Internet ready working computers. Recycle IT also provides people with disabilities a chance to gain computer repair and maintenance skills as they rehab the donated technology.
The Sierra Group helped celebrate Agilient Technologies Abilities Day by conducting an interactive discussion about the topic, "Is Disability part of your Corporate Diversity Initiative?"
October is National Disability Awareness Month. As part of this celebration, The Sierra Group spoke at an interactive discussion before the Delaware Society for Human Resource Managers about the topic, "Is Disability part of your Corporate Diversity Initiative?"
On October 5, 2005, The Sierra Group was on a panel discussing examples of workplace accommodations, assistive technology, universal accessibility and proactive business practices that enable all employees to work to their fullest potential. The conference will be held in the Radisson Hotel and Convention Center, King of Prussia, PA.
Registration form and more information. PDF - 169 K
From the conference web site: "The conference will establish a national dialogue on the current state and future directions of workplace accommodations. The conference format will include plenary sessions, paper presentations in breakout sessions, and extensive opportunity for networking and discussion. A goal of the conference will be to develop an agenda for future directions in research, service delivery, and product development based on user needs for workplace accommodations."
"The conference will bring together researchers, practitioners (i.e., rehabilitation engineers, rehabilitation counselors, occupational therapists), policy makers, product designers, employers, and employees with disabilities who are interested in improving access to the workplace for people with disabilities."
The Sierra Group spoke specifically on "Disability, Age and Accommodation: Old isn't what it used to be."
On August 19, 2005, The Philadelphia Phillies, Exceptional Parent Magazine, and First Financial Group/Mass Mutual hosted Disability Awareness Night™ at Citizen's Bank Park, honoring Janet D. Fiore. This event paid tribute to the 54 million Americans with disabilities as they work with rehabilitation professionals, teachers, and corporate citizens to increase their independence.For more details, view or download the press release. MS Word - 183 K
Sierra Group's Workplace Foundation and its major funding partner, The Sierra Group have created employmentincentives.com as an informational tool to assist employers in recognizing the scope and value of various employment incentive programs.
Workplace Technology Foundation is a non-profit organization established for the reversing the rate of unemployment for people with disabilities. For more information on the Workplace Technology Foundation, visit our website.
The Sierra Group and its staff have been the recipients of many awards and honors. The company and its principles have been featured in a variety of publications and on the air
- Janet Fiore receives 2013 OVR award
- National Rehabilitation Association WF Faulkes Award – Chicago August 2012
- Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association (PRA) Gives Ralph N. Pacinelli Leadership Award to Carl Marshall M.ED., CRC, LPC – March 2011
- Janet Fiore receives 2011 National Rehabilitation Association's President's Award.
- Janet Fiore named member of the Traumatic Brain Injury - Resource Optimization Center (TBI - ROC) Advisory Group
- Pennsylvania Rehabilitation Association (PRA) Gives Ralph N. Pacinelli Leadership Award to Janet Fiore – September 2010
- Janet Fiore becomes President Elect of the National Association for Rehabilitation Leaders
- Janet Fiore receives National Rehabilitation Association's JPD Lou Ortale Award -September 11, 2009
- Exceptional Parent Magazine & Mass Mutual Honor Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group.
- Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group Wins Mary E. Switzer Award.
- MS Leadership Award.
- "40 under 40" 1999 Award given by the Philadelphia Business Journal.
- "Woman of Distinction" 1999 Award given by the Philadelphia Business Journal, Forum of Female Executives and National Association of Women Business of Owners.
- 1999, given by Inc. Magazine's and Ericsson's Salute to Entrepreneurs Making a Difference in their Community.
- "One of Montgomery's Finest" 1999 Award given by The Times Herald.
- Cal Pava Prize 1998 Recipient given by the National Brain Tumor Foundation for enhancing the lives of people with disabilities through technology.
- "Dedicated Service to Community of Upper Merion Township" 1998 Award given by Upper Merion Township.
- 1998 Certificate of Appreciation, The Department of Veterans Affairs Committee on Employment of People with Disabilities.
- "10 Top Movers and Shakers in the Phoenixville Community" 1997 Award.
- NRA Economic Impact Task Force Calls for Participants by Michael Fiore in Contemporary Rehab, February 2011, Volume 67, No.1, p10)
- NARL President's Message by Janet Fiore in Contemporary Rehab, February 2011, Volume 67, No. 1, p1)
- Management by Walking around: NARL Pre-Conference a Huge Success - PDF by Janet Fiore in the October 2010Contemporary Rehab 121 K
- Disability, Accessibility, & the Job Market. Liberty Works Magazine (Fall 2009 Vol 29, No.3, pp10-11) PDF - 1.3 MB (opens a new browser window)
- The Americans with Disability Act - Amendments Act of 2008. 372 K (opens in a new browser window) Pennsylvania Defense Institute Counterpoint July 2009, pages 10-13
- RecruitMilitary, Sierra Group, Workplace Tech Foundation Develop New Hiring Process for Veterans with Disabilities. November 2009
- Training Session Gives Disabled New Job-Seeking Skills. October 2009
- The Sierra Group applauds United Collection Bureau, Inc. (UCB, Inc.) on receiving Employer of the Year from the Ohio Governors Commission on Disability. See the press release (PDF-22K) to learn how UCB, Inc. and The Sierra Group plan to take the model to the community at large. August 2009.
- The Sierra Group's CRC, Jackie Pickering featured article, "Managing Disability Claims in Today's Economy" in America's Health Insurance Plans (AHIP) publication. Read the press release and article. April 2009.
- Sierra Group CEO does 10 City - 10 Week Tour to Drive up Employment for Americans with Disabilities. Read the Press Release on the Ten Cities in Ten Weeks Tour and the One More Way Collaborative. September 2008.
- Hire Heroes Program Begins Operation Nationwide Press Release, June 2007.
- Woog, Dan, "Disability Update 2007", Monster.com, April 2007.
- Scully, Sean, "The Business Case for Hiring People with Disabilities." Philadelphia Business Journal, 30 March 2007.
- Read an interview from the book "Accessible Technology In Today's Business: Case Studies for Success" with Sierra Group Rehabilitation Engineer and Consultant, Michael Fiore. The interview was conducted by Microsoft Accessible Technology author Janice Hertz.
- Exceptional Parent Magazine & Mass Mutual Honor Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group -The Sierra Group Press Release MS Word - 593 K
- Exceptional Parent Magazine & Mass Mutual Honor Janet Fiore, CEO, The Sierra Group - Exceptional Parent Magazine Press Release MS Word - 183 K
- Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group will be the keynote speaker for the Employer Breakfast at the upcoming Diversity Job Fairs, June 15, 2005.
- Janet Fiore, CEO of The Sierra Group Wins Mary E. Switzer Award, April, 2005.
- Fiore, Michael. "Section 508: How it is driving technology and the employment of people with disabilities?" Contemporary Rehab Magazine, December 2004, Vol. 60, No. 7.
- The Sierra Group, Inc. acquires Pembroke, Jackie Pickering, December 17, 2004.
- Assistance for Small Businesses Hiring People with Disabilities, December 11, 2003.
- Rehab Management: The Interdisciplinary Journal of Rehabilitation. April/May 2000, 52.
- News Travel Network Northwest Airlines documentary, June 1999.
- "Make Yourself Heard: Ericsson Salutes Entrepreneurs Who Are Making a Difference in Their Communities," Inc. Magazine, November 1999.
- Key, Peter. "Lending a Hand." The Costco Connection, June 2000, 57-58.
- Ornstein, Beth. "Accommodating Disabled Employees in Office Can Be Easy." Eastern Pennsylvania Business Journal, 5-11 July 1999, 13.
- Menon, Vinod. "Workers with Disabilities Gain New Inroads." A Gannett Newspaper in Lansdale, PA, 10 April 1999.
- Rotenberg, Carl. "Life's Work: For Sierra Group's Fiore, It Really Is." Times Herald, 2 May 1999, sec. A, p. 5.
- Key, Peter. "Award Puts Local Tech Firm on National Map." Philadelphia Business Journal, 5.
- Francis, Naila. "King of Prussia Firm Lauded for Efforts to Aid Disabled." Times Herald 12 May 1998.
- Berlin, Steve. "Through Technology, Firm Helps Disabled to Work." Business Ledger, May 1999, 5-7.
- Colan, Bernard J. "Functional Future for Working People with Disabilities." ADVANCE for Occupational Therapists.
- "Enhancing Lives through Technology." PN Paraplegia, September 1998.
- Geiger, Mia. "Janet Fiore Helps the Disabled Get to Work: CEO of The Sierra Group Uses Technology to Help People with Disabilities." Philadelphia Business Journal.
- Kerr, Tom. "The Jaime Frey Story: Rainbows". ADVANCE for Occupational Therapists, 7 July 1997.
- Ornstein, Beth. "Fiore: Combining Technology, Compassion." Philadelphia Business Journal 19-25 February 1999.
- Rotenberg, Carl. "Enabling Disabled: Business Plan a 'Capital' Idea." Times Herald, sec. B, p. 1-2.
- "Sierra Group Honored for Aiding People with Disabilities." Philadelphia Inquirer, 6 July 1998.
The Sierra Group mission driven organization that stands for reversing the high rate of unemployment for people with disabilities in America.
The enactment of the 1992 Rehabilitation Act, (P.L. 102-559), was the starting point for The Sierra Group, Inc., with the purpose of educating and training individuals with disabilities who are seeking employment. Sierra, an innovative rehabilitation engineering consulting company, recognized the need to creatively use technology to enhance human potential and overcome disability-related barriers to employment.
Finding the right assistive technology, learning how to use it, and integrating this technology and business strategies into a work scenario is a complicated puzzle - one that Sierra solves on a daily basis. Sierra calls their approach to marrying assistive devices with mainstream business software and hardware applications "Workplace Technology." The approach is two-fold. First, after a thorough evaluation, Sierra helps the individual to develop basic educational skills such as spelling and math, and then integrates individually tailored assistive devices and strategies into a business work site.
U.S. Census statistics show that 20 percent of Americans have a disability. Of that total, 27 million Americans have a severe disability that affects their ability to see, hear, walk or perform other functions common to the workplace. While assistive technology is enabling thousands of these individuals to work, the unemployment rate for people with disabilities who are looking to work hovers at 70 to 80 percent, more than 11 times the national rate of 6 percent.
The National Organization on Disability (NOD) 1998 study revealed that 25 percent of all people with disabilities who work use assistive technology. This same study also noted that 45 percent of those with disabilities who are unemployed state that they would require assistive technology in order to become employed.
The Sierra Group is a 10 person certified female-owned company. With a success rate of 91%, Sierra's implementation of assistive technology solutions far exceeds the national average (as reported by the Rehabilitation Engineering Society of North America RESNA, 1999) wherein only 49% of AT solutions remain in use six months after they are acquired. The Sierra Group has provided expert commentary to the Government Accounting Office (GAO) regarding business use of tax incentives; given testimony to the United States House Congressional Committee on Small Business; and is contracted to provide Section 508 Accessibility Training to Government Services Administration (GSA) procurement officials.
Sierra is located in King of Prussia, Pennsylvania and serves clients nationally. Sierra consultants offer new employment potential to Americans with disabling conditions through a unique mix of experience in working simultaneously with business, government, schools and not-for-profit organizations.
Principal shareholder Janet Fiore experiences first hand what it is like to live and work with a hidden disability. Janet is a founding member of the Workplace Technology Foundation, which is dedicated to promoting KNOWLEDGE that will change the currently dismal employment picture for people with disabilities.
WHAT IS THE MISSION OF THE SIERRA GROUP?
To reverse the rate of unemployment for people with disabilities
WHAT IS THE VISION OF THE SIERRA GROUP?
To enhance the human potential of persons with disabilities through technology and create solutions for businesses to employee them.
HOW DID THE SIERRA GROUP GET ITS NAME?
The name helps illustrate the mission, mission of changing the environment and landscape of the workplace for persons with disabilities.
HOW LONG HAS THE SIERRA GROUP EXISTED?
The Sierra Group began in 1991 to fill the void that exists in both working with individuals and businesses to create mutually beneficial solutions for employing persons with disabilities.
HOW MANY PEOPLE HAVE DISABILITIES?
U.S. Census statistics show that 20 percent of Americans have disabilities. Of that total 27 million Americans have a severe disability that affects their ability to see, hear, walk, or perform other functions in the workplace.
HOW MANY PERSONS WITH DISABILITIES ARE UNEMPLOYED?
The unemployment rate for people with disabilities is 70 to 80 percent more than eleven times the national rate of 6 percent.
HOW DOES THE SIERRA GROUP TRAIN PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES?
The Sierra Group meets with individuals and assesses their personal and professional goals, and then a tailor made curriculum program is created to help achieve that individual's goals. The Sierra Group has trained 2,000 people to date.
HOW DOES THE SIERRA GROUP WORK WITH BUSINESSES?
The Sierra Group provides an integrated services approach. The Sierra Group meets with businesses' representatives and assesses their professional needs, then devises solutions to accommodate employees and to ensure each individual's productivity.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS FOR BUSINESSES THAT EMPLOY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES
TRAINED BY SIERRA?
First a business will be hiring a well-trained qualified candidate. Statistically, people with disabilities stay at jobs longer and don't miss work as often. Additionally, employers can benefit financially, through tax incentives, matching funds to offset a person's wages for training, and for grants to pay for assistive technology.
WHAT ARE THE BENEFITS TO BEING TRAINED BY THE SIERRA GROUP?
The Sierra Group has a success rate of 80% in implementing assistive technology solutions. This far exceeds the national average of only 49% of assistive technology solutions, which remain in use six months after they are acquired.
HOW DO I CONTACT THE SIERRA GROUP?
E-mail firstname.lastname@example.org Press Room; or by phone at 1.800.973.7687.
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