Supporting Women with Disabilities
This week, our panel discusses best practices around supporting women with disabilities at work, combating ableism, and what you can do to step up.
Vice President Risk Management Operations & Casualty Claims, Walmart
In 2020 Michele Adams was appointed Vice President of Risk Management Operations & Casualty Claims at Walmart Claims Services in Bentonville, Arkansas. Before joining Walmart, she was the Vice President, Risk Management Services at Walt Disney World Resort in Orlando, Florida where she spent more than twenty years in the risk management organization. She has experience leading dynamic and diverse teams managing all aspects of risk and casualty claims.
Michele is a national speaker on a wide range of topics involving risk management and workers’ compensation. In 2019 she received the Summa Comp Laude award from Work Comp Central, recognized for the positive impact she has made to the national workers’ compensation community. In 2017 Michele was inducted into the Florida Workers’ Compensation Hall of Fame for her contributions to the betterment of the workers’ compensation industry in Florida.
Michele is the past-Chair and Executive Committee Member of the Medicare Advocacy and Recovery Coalition; serves on the Boards of the Florida Self Insured Guaranty Association and the Workers’ Compensation Research Institute; and is a past member of the Executive Committee of the National Council of Self-Insureds.
She is a summa cum laude graduate of Rollins College where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Organizational Communications. She also holds an MBA from the Crummer School of Business, Rollins College in Winter Park, Florida.
Michele is a native Floridian and when she is not working, is an avid reader and enjoys writing, college football, bike riding, and spending time with her family.
Commissioner, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, City of Chicago
Rachel Arfa, Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD), Chicago
Rachel Arfa was appointed Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) by Mayor Lori E. Lightfoot in July 2020.
Commissioner Arfa is the first deaf commissioner of MOPD, and the highest ranking deaf person to serve in a City government leadership role. Arfa comes to MOPD with years of experience as a disability and civil rights attorney. She has held numerous civic and leadership roles, including advocating to make Chicago’s cultural spaces accessible to people with disabilities.
As MOPD Commissioner, Arfa leads the City of Chicago’s efforts to make Chicago a more accessible city. MOPD provides services including in the areas of independent living services (information and referral, home delivered meals, and home maker services), employment and youth transition services, home modifications, assistive technology, accessible housing and architectural accessibility. MOPD also creates policies on disability accessibility, accessible transportation and emergency preparedness.
Arfa is a graduate of the University of Michigan (B.A. American Culture) and the University of Wisconsin School of Law (J.D.)
Abilities Strategy Leader, Ernst & Young
Lori Golden is EY Abilities Strategy Leader, driving global efforts to build an enabling, inclusive environment for the firm’s nearly 300,000 people of all abilities. She leads initiatives to enhance accessibility in EY offices, communications, meetings, trainings and technology, educate on disabilities issues and inclusive practices, and collaborates on new recruiting and employment models. She advises the firm’s disabilities networks and works across the organization to enhance support for people with disabilities. Lori’s helped build innovative programs including WorkWell@EY on ergonomics; EY’s Neuro-diverse Centers of Excellence; and We Care, which helps colleagues support colleagues struggling with mental illness.
A frequent speaker on disabilities employment issues, Lori serves on the US Department of Labor’s Circle of Champions, the Disability: IN Global Roundtable, the Autism at Work Employer Roundtable, is Vice Chair of the Board of TransCen and served on the Board of Directors of the US Business Leadership Network (USBLN) and its Corporate Advisory Board.
Lori has multiple non-visible disabilities and has children with disabilities. She is a recipient of EY’s Chairman’s Values Award and a two-time winner of the firm’s Better Begins with You Award. She’s been with Ernst & Young 22 years and is a graduate of Harvard University.
Deputy Commissioner, Mayor's Office for People with Disabilities, City of Chicago
Christina McGleam was appointed Deputy Commissioner of the Mayor’s Office for People with Disabilities (MOPD) in April 2021 by Commissioner Rachel Arfa.
In her role as Deputy Commissioner, McGleam oversees MOPD’s Employment, Training and Youth initiatives aimed at elevating employment opportunities, reducing barriers to employment for people with disabilities and increasing awareness on how to best interact with people with disabilities.
McGleam also collaborates with Chicago Public Schools’ Office of Diverse Learners and Support Services as well as the City Colleges of Chicago to support professional development activities and works with both teams to fill the gaps between high school and college for students with disabilities. As MOPD’s Access Officer, another leadership role within the City of Chicago, McGleam serves as the main contact for City departments and sister agencies on questions related to communication access.
McGleam represents MOPD as a member of the Regional Transit Authority Eligibility Review Board, the Accessible Airport Advisory Committee and was recently selected to serve as a member of the Chicago Cultural Access Sub-Committee. McGleam is a member of MOPD’s internal Office of Racial Equity and Justice cohort, working to ensure equity is at the forefront of all the services MOPD provides.
McGleam is a graduate of John Carroll University (B.S. Business Administration) and Roosevelt University (M.S. Human Resource Management) and earned a certification from the International Association of Accessibility Professionals as a Certified Professional in Accessibility Core competencies.