Medline celebrates its first Early Career Talent Accelerator participant

Medline celebrates its first Early Career Talent Accelerator participant

By Medline Newsroom Staff | July 9, 2024

Company News

Medline celebrates its first Early Career Talent Accelerator participant

Recognizing talent, increasing awareness and empowering inclusion during Disability Pride Month

More than 700 Medline employees are members of the Disability Awareness & Action Alliance (DAAA), the fastest growing Employee Resource Group at Medline. Throughout the month of July, the DAAA focuses on community-building as it marks Disability Pride Month by hosting a variety of events and recognizing its members and allies.

One such member is Amanda Kauffman, a supervisor in Regulatory Affairs who describes herself as “hearing impaired” on her left side. Kauffman wore a hearing aid starting in first grade, but several years ago, her doctor recommended a cochlear implant. At first, insurance rejected the request, claiming it was a “cosmetic procedure,” but Kauffman fought through two appeals until finally her request was approved. She said, “Now I try to advocate a little more for disability and encourage others to speak up for themselves.”

Earlier this year, Kauffman was nominated and selected to participate in the inaugural Early Career Talent Accelerator program, led by Disability:IN, a global nonprofit that drives disability inclusion in business.

The Early Career Talent Accelerator is a 12-week career advancement program designed to help professionals with disabilities grow within their current companies. Kauffman was one of just 25 individuals from 23 participating employers across the country who was chosen as part of this first-ever cohort. “I’ve never been around so many people with so many different disabilities,” Kauffman said. “I feel grateful to be a part of this program and to learn more about myself as well as other people.”

The accelerator curriculum was developed by professionals with disabilities and combines self-paced content with virtual instruction. “We’re set up on virtual coffee dates with other people in the program, so every week I meet with someone new,” Kauffman explained. The program culminates mid-July at Disability:IN’s annual conference in Las Vegas. “I’m really excited to be on site,” Kauffman said.

“My disability has taught me to be resourceful, empathetic and resilient. I take pride of being an advocate for change and contributing to a more inclusive society as well as a professional workplace.”

Amanda Kauffman Headshot

Amanda Kauffman

Supervisor Regulatory Affairs, Medline

With Disability Pride Month here, Kauffman reflected back on what she’s achieved so far and said, “My disability has taught me to be resourceful, empathetic and resilient. I take pride of being an advocate for change and contributing to a more inclusive society as well as a professional workplace.” She hopes to get more involved with the DAAA and commented, “The ERG brings immense value to Medline by fostering a sense of community and belonging among employees. They provide a platform for under-represented groups to voice their concerns and ideas, which can lead to positive changes in the workplace culture.”

Participation in the Early Career Talent Accelerator is one of many ways Medline is helping build and expand the disability community within and beyond Medline. This month, the DAAA brings pride to life in events including the following:

  • July 9: Aspire workplace inclusion panel. Employees can learn about the challenges faced by individuals with disabilities and the benefits of a diverse workforce. This panel will feature Aspire nonprofit leaders and individuals they support in their employment.
  • July 12: Caregivers: How can I support my child with disabilities? Child Advocacy Attorney Jennifer Reiter speaks to Medline employees about how they can be the best caregivers. She will touch on what resources schools are obligated to provide to children with additional needs and end with an opportunity to ask questions.
  • July 17: DisabilityIN allyship through awareness and etiquette. Medline employees will have the opportunity to hear from a panel of experts discussing their experiences and perspectives on disability inclusion in the workplace.
  • Announcement of philanthropy partnership with three nonprofit organizations: the National Disability Institute, Aspire of Illinois, and Variety the Children’s Charity of Illinois. The partnerships entail shared events such as bike-building, community beautification, educational workshops, social media collaboration and more.
  • July 25: Make connections with DAAA members and allies, learn about current initiatives and upcoming engagement opportunities, and meet representatives from the local community and DAAA’s new nonprofit partners. Plus, there will be DAAA swag, activities, resources and treats from disability-aligned Moose and Me Bakery. Swing by the atrium at Medline headquarters in Northfield.

Learn more about how Medline fosters a culture that empowers everyone.

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Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline Newsroom Staff

Medline's newsroom staff researches and reports on the latest news and trends in healthcare.

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