Disability Matters 2023 – North America


The 12th Annual Disability BRG

When: Tuesday, April 25, 2023

Where: Charleston, South Carolina

Location: Hyatt House Charleston Historic District


Do you bring your “whole self” to work? Many people with disabilities don’t, especially those with invisible disabilities. Covid has exacerbated this with the increase of invisible mental health related issues such as anxiety and depression.

Disability BRGs can help with that, but they can also assist with a host of other aspects related to disability inclusion. Disability BRGs have the power to exert influence when it comes to Learning & Development, Etiquette, Self -ID &  Disclosure, Reasonable Accommodation Processes, Employment, Physical & Digital Accessibility, Branding, Product Development, and so much more.

The key to success is multifold and includes:

  • An understanding who the BRG serves whether employees with disabilities, who are service-disabled, have age-related disabilities or who have children or other dependents with special needs.
  • Alignment with business goals and objectives.
  • A fully integrated Executive Sponsor.
  • Avoidance of a support group mentality.
  • An understanding of what the group can do directly versus influence.
  • Agreement about roles and responsibilities and integration with someone’s full-time job.
  • Understanding of legislative issues and practices.
  • Appropriate measures of success.
  • Understanding of the facts and related benefits of intersectionality.

Active participation by employees who have disabilities, who are impacted by disability in some other way, leaders, executives, and allies sends a clear message of company commitment to disability diversity, equity and inclusion.

Springboard’s annual Disability BRG Leadership Development Summit is open to disability BRG Leaders and their Executive Sponsors. Whether you are about to launch a disability BRG or have been leading one for many years, this Summit will encourage the development of new ideas and innovative practices that will successfully impact their groups effectiveness and sustainability.


The 17th Annual Disability Matters
North America Conference & Awards

When: Wednesday & Thursday, April 26-27, 2023

Where: Charleston, South Carolina

Location: Hyatt House Charleston Historic District


Sponsorship Opportunities available for both events.  Or, if you have questions, please contact ivette@consultspringboard.com

(2-day Conference & Awards)

(1-day Summit)

Please note – General or Sponsor Admission, regardless of registration, in order to gain entry to the event, you must be a corporate disability BRG leader.

COMBO-TICKETS: $1,499 per person
(1-day BRG Summit, and 2-day Disability Matters Conference & Awards)

CART Captioning will be provided at both events.


Springboard consulting llc, dive in with precision



Colgate Logo


UPMC Stacked Logo, the letters UPMC on top and beneath it states Life Changing Medicine



College of Charleston Logo


FIS in green lettering with five green dots above the letters flush-left in gradient green color from pale to matching green of the FIS letters
PTC Logo


Sephora logo. Black lettering which reads SEPHORA on a white background



Event Attire

Resort wear is acceptable for all parts of the event.

  • BRG Summit
  • Welcome Reception
  • Conference Attire

Event Menu

Should you require any Dietary Accommodations, please be sure to make note in the Dietary Accommodations area of the Registration Process.


If you have any questions regarding this conference, please contact: Ivette Lopez at ivette@consultspringboard.com

Springboard consulting llc, dive in with precision


Hyatt Place Charleston Historic District
Hyatt House Charleston Historic District
560 King St, Charleston, SC 29403
T: 1-843-414-4900
F: 1-843-414-4999


To book via the website, directly into the Group Block:

To book via phone:
1 (888) 591-1234
Please mention the Group Code G-DISA at the Hyatt Place Charleston Historic District

Springboard has negotiated a discounted rate of $259.00 USD, plus applicable state and local tax rates at the Hyatt Place + Hyatt House Charleston – Historic District. Reservation cut-off date is Friday, March 24, 2023. Please book quickly as space is limited.


  • The Negotiated Room Rate is for Standard King or Queen/Queen guest rooms for single/double occupancy. Additional chargesof $10.00 per person will apply for Triple or Quad Occupancy.
  • The room rate is subject to any applicable city, county, state or federal taxes that may apply at the time of room occupancy. Currently, the combined tax rate is 14%; taxes are subject to change.
  • Applicable service fees, and/or Hotel-specific fees ($2.00 per room/per night taxable Destination Fee for Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau) in effect at the time of the Event.
  • Check-in time is 4:00 p.m.  /  Check-out time is 12:00 p.m.


If you have any questions regarding this conference, please contact: Ivette Lopez at ivette@consultspringboard.com


Uber, Lyft and local taxi services are available.

Alternate transportation:

Carolina Limousine and Coach

Julian Transportation


Charleston International Airport (CHS) – 11 miles

Start by going west on International Boulevard, keep right and veer towards International Boulevard

Continue on International Boulevard, turn left onto West Montague Avenue and merge onto I-26 East

Continue to exit 221A towards US 17 S Savannah and keep left and take the King Street exit, veer around the exit circle and head towards King Street

Turn right onto King Street, and Hotel will be on left just past Spring Street

Charleston Executive Airport (JZI) – 10.7 miles

Start out going west on Fort Trenholm Road toward River Road, turn right onto River Road, then turn right onto Maybank HWY SC – 700

Turn right onto Riverland Drive and turn left onto Central Park Road

Turn right onto Folly Road SC-171, merge onto SC -30 via the ramp on the left toward Downtown, and SC -30E becomes Calhoun Street

Turn left onto King Street, go 0.5 miles and the hotel will be on the right

The closest parking garage is the City of Charleston owned and operated garage (public garage) and is located adjacent to the hotel. For large vehicle/trailer/tour bus/charter bus parking, please call the Charleston Area Convention and Visitors Bureau for parking permit and availability at (843) 973-7290. Parking charges are subject to change.

Valet Parking including in/out privileges
$32 /Daily

Please ensure to scroll down to see both the BRG Summit Agenda and the Disability Matters Conference Agenda.  

Be sure to click on highlighted titles to hear directly from the presenter(s) about the session.

Make sure to check back periodically as we continue to make updates.


AGENDA (Draft-1: Revised February 28, 2023)





Time               Topic Location
7:00 am – 12:00 pm Registration Grand Magnolia Pre-Function
7:00 am – 10:00 am Breakfast Lobby
9:00 am – 9:15 am

Welcome and Opening Remarks

  • Nadine Vogel
    Chief Executive Officer, Springboard Consulting, LLC
9:15 am – 9:45 am Group Introductions Carolina
9:45 am – 10:45 am

Interactive Session

The Re-skilling of BRG Leaders

10:45 am – 11:00 am Break Carolina
11:00 am – 12:00 pm “We’re Better Together,” or Apart? Carolina
12:00 pm – 1:00 pm Lunch Carolina
1:00 pm – 2:00 pm

The Importanceof a Relationship: The Disability BRG + The Employee Benefits Team

    2:00 pm – 2:30 pm Universal Design and the Disability BRG Carolina
    2:30 pm – 2:45 pm BREAK Carolina
    2:45 pm – 3:45 pm Disability BRG’s: What works, what doesn’t, and where do we go from here? Carolina
    3:45 pm – 4:00 pm

    Closing Remarks & Farewell

    • Nadine Vogel
      Chief Executive Officer, Springboard Consulting, LLC



    AGENDA  (FINAL v2: February 28, 2023)



    TUESDAY, APRIL 25, 2023

    Time               Topic Location
    6:30 pm – 8:30pm Check-in with Springboard Team Grand Magnolia Pre-Function
    6:30 pm – 8:30pm




    Grand Magnolia Pre-Function
    6:45 pm – 7:00 pm



    • Nadine Vogel
      Chief Executive Officer,
      Springboard Consulting, LLC
    Grand Magnolia Pre-Function
    6:30 pm – 8:30pm Entertainment by:
    The Charleston Symphony
    Grand Magnolia Pre-Function




    WEDNESDAY, APRIL 26, 2023

    Time               Topic Location
    7:00 am – 12:00 pm Registration  Grand Magnolia Pre-Function
    7:00 am – 10:00 am Breakfast  Lobby
    8:45 am – 9:00 am

    Opening Procession

    Colorguard & Bagpipers

    Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    9:00 am – 9:15 am


    • Nadine Vogel
      Chief Executive Officer,
      Springboard Consulting, LLC
    Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    9:15 am – 9:30 am Award Presentation Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    9:30 am – 10:15 am Neurodiversity + Burnout Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    10:15 am – 10:30 am BREAK  Grand Magnolia Pre-Function
    10:30 am – 11:15 am

    Managing Accommodations and Flexibility in a Rapidly Changing Workplace: The Intersection Between Compliance and Inclusion

    Description:  While the laws governing leave and accommodation have been in place for decades, unforeseen and rapidly changing forces have created new challenges for employers.  Recognizing that the workforce has changed significantly in recent years, this panel discussion will address:

    • New and emerging leave/accommodation issues, including medical marijuana, remote work arrangements, and “self-diagnosed disabilities.”
    • Balancing decades-old legal obligations with present-day diversity initiatives
    • Steps employers can take to balance their compliance requirements with their DEI goals.
    Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    11:15 am – 11:30 am Award Presentation Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    11:30 am – 12:15 am

    Keynote Presentation

    Keynote Speaker + Life Thinker

    Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    12:15 am – 1:15 pm LUNCH Grand Magnolia Ballroom Pre-Function
    1:15 pm – 1:45 pm Farming Reimagined: How does your garden grow? Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    1:45 pm – 2:30 pm Universal Design for Commercial + Consumer Interiors Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    2:30 pm – 3:00 pm Embarking on the Journey to Excellence Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    3:00 pm – 3:15 pm BREAK Grand Magnolia Ballroom Pre-Function
    3:15 pm – 3:45 pm Healthcare + Hiring Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    3:45 pm – 4:45 pm

    Tasting in the Dark: A Truly Eye-Opening Experience

    Description: Dr. Hoby Wedler of Wedland Group has been completely blind since birth. Join us as Hoby tours us through a variety of olive oils and vinegars and discusses the art of producing olive oil and vinegar. This experience has a twist; we will for once not be distracted by our eyesight. Guests will be blindfolded for this educational and entertaining session. Come empower your other senses when your mind isn’t distracted by eyesight! Eyesight is powerful and should be used but not so much that it detracts from your other equally incredible senses.

    Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    4:45 pm – 5:00 pm The Greatest Collaboration Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    5:00 pm – 5:15 pm

    Wrap-Up Day-1

    • Nadine Vogel
      Chief Executive Officer, Springboard Consulting, LLC
    Grand Magnolia Ballroom



    THURSDAY, APRIL 27, 2023

    Time               Topic Location
    7:00 am – 12:00 pm Registration Grand Magnolia Ballroom Pre-Function
    7:00 am – 10:00 am Breakfast Lobby
    9:00 am – 9:15 am

    Welcoming Remarks

    • Nadine O. Vogel
      Chief Executive Officer,
      Springboard Consulting, LLC
    Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    9:15 am – 9:30 am Award Presentation Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    9:30 am – 10:00 am Disability Index Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    10:00 am – 10:30 am Disability, Equity, Inclusion + A Grand Magnolia Ballroom
    10:30 am – 10:45 am BREAK Grand Magnolia Ballroom Pre-Function
    10:45 am – 11:45 am

    Successes, Best Practices and Lessons Learned: Government Perspectives on Advancing Employment Opportunities for Individuals with Disabilities

    Description: This interagency panel of experts will discuss roles and responsibilities of their respective government agencies and how they can work together to facilitate and improve employment opportunities for individuals with disabilities. Each agency can help employers to better understand and successfully navigate the disability employment ecosystem.

      Grand Magnolia Ballroom

      11:45 am – 12:30 pm


      Keynote Presentation

      JOE RHEA
      Speaker | Motivator | Activist | Inspiration

        Grand Magnolia Ballroom
        12:30 pm – 1:30 pm LUNCH Grand Magnolia Ballroom Pre-Function
        1:30 pm – 1:45 pm

        Award Presentation

          Grand Magnolia Ballroom
          1:45 pm – 2:15 pm Insurance companies impacting their marketplace and their workplace Grand Magnolia Ballroom
          2:15 pm – 2:45 pm Investing in People Grand Magnolia Ballroom
          2:45 pm – 3:00 pm BREAK Grand Magnolia Ballroom
          3:00 pm – 3:30 pm Transition: College to Work Grand Magnolia Ballroom
          3:30 pm – 4:00 pm Implicit Bias + Disability Grand Magnolia Ballroom
          4:00 pm – 4:15 pm Award Presentation Grand Magnolia Ballroom
          4:15 pm – 4:30 pm


          • Nadine Vogel
            Chief Executive Officer, Springboard Consulting, LLC

          Grand Magnolia Ballroom

          DAY 1

          Michael Kutcher, white male, blonde with glasses is sitting and leaning slightly front and wearing a lilac button-down shirt.

          Keynote Speaker + Life Thinker

          From the moment of birth, Michael Kutcher has overcome challenges and conquered obstacles that most people never even catch a glimpse of. Born on February 7th, 1978 in Cedar Rapids, Iowa as the unexpected twin brother of actor Christopher “Ashton” Kutcher, Michael met his first of many challenges at delivery. Entering the world notably smaller than his twin at less than five pounds, Michael was hardly responsive and struggled to take his first breath.

          Thanks to both outstanding medical care and his indomitable instinct to survive, Michael pulled through his first days and weeks,  although not without lasting adverse effects. By age three, Michael was battling significant developmental delays, caused by  irreversible neurological pathologies. He was diagnosed with Cerebral Palsy before he entered Kindergarten.

          Throughout his childhood, Michael’s innate desire to thrive helped him overcome issues with eyesight, speech, and motor skill development. Michael grew up in a loving and supportive family that taught him the value of the health he did have and to make the best of his circumstances. Unfortunately, Michael’s uphill battle was only getting started.

          Diagnosed with heart failure at age 13, Michael was once again faced with an unthinkable challenge of survival. After being given a life expectancy of just three to four weeks, Michael again defeated the odds and successfully received a life saving heart transplant.

          It was this second close brush with death that opened Michael’s eyes to the fragility of life and inspired him to take control of the  future he once thought he wouldn’t have. Michael graduated from Clear Creek Amana High School in 1996 and later continued his education earning his Bachelor’s Degree in Business Management and Finance from Mount Mercy University.

          His medical triumphs and perspective on Cerebral Palsy have led him to work directly with Reaching for the Stars, A Foundation of Hope for Children with Cerebral Palsy as an advocate and public speaker. His determination and passion have even brought him as far as Capitol Hill in Washington D.C., where Michael has worked to raise awareness for local and national fund raising initiatives. Michael has also brought his profound story and message to the Center for Disease Control as well as the National Institute of Health.

          When he’s not advocating for Cerebral Palsy awareness or inspiring audiences around the nation, Michael resides in Denver, Colorado, where he’s built a successful career as an Assistant Vice President for Transamerica Retirement Solutions. In his free time, Michael enjoys spending time with his family, traveling and playing golf.

          Michael’s message is one of inspiration, hope and appreciation. Having overcome unthinkable challenges against extraordinary odds, Michael is living proof that perseverance and unwavering positivity can surmount even the most seemingly impossible of obstacles.

          DAY 2

          Joe Rhea, white male, grey hair, wearing a pale blue button-down shirt and herringbone sports jacket.

          JOE RHEA
          Speaker | Motivator | Activist | Inspiration

          There are moments in all of our lives that we can look back upon and say that was a defining moment in our life.  It is without hesitation that Joe Rhea can look back and know when his life was forever altered. At the age of 14 on September 11, 1984, Joe sustained a broken neck on the football field and was paralyzed from the neck down. The doctors said he would never walk again.

          Can you imagine what this moment would feel like? What would go through your mind? There are only two types of people in this world, ones who fight, and ones who don’t.

          Joe chose to fight!

          Joe’s inspirational story began days later when he began getting some feeling back in his left leg. That’s when the doctors and physical therapists gave him a choice: work harder than you can imagine and endure more pain than you have ever thought possible or to spend the rest of your life in a wheelchair.

          So Joe worked hard and felt pain. And now, not only is he not in a wheelchair, he walks, runs, plays golf and skis.

          Joe has shared his story with thousands of people around the world. He has helped others with devastating injuries lead a full life, and he will inspire your audience with insights into how to stay positive no matter what the circumstances.

          THE HONOREES ARE …



          Wednesday, April 26, 2023 / Day-1 Recording
          Transcript >>

          Thursday, April 27, 2023 / Day-2 Recording
          Transcript >> 


          Please complete the registration form below, then click “Submit” to continue to the PayPal payment page to complete the ticket purchase and registration process.  If payment is not made, the registration process is not finalized.

          If you have any questions, please contact Ivette Lopez; E: ivette@consultspringboard.com; T: +1-973-813-7260 x.102.

          Contact us

          Continue to check back with us as we update our sponsors daily! If interested in becoming a Sponsor or participating in the event, there is still time! To become a sponsor, please contact Ivette Lopez; E: ivette@consultspringboard.com; T: 1-973-813-7260 x.102.

          To purchase a ticket, click the Tickets and Registration Tab at the top.