In today's competitive and diverse global economy, businesses cannot afford to overlook individuals with disabilities as a significant component of the workforce and marketplace. The first ever Access Means Business Conference will be held at the Anderson School of Management on Thursday-Friday, June 9-10. The conference will provide business owners insights into how to advance workforce diversity initiatives and show them how to create a solid business and marketing plan to attract every possible customer.

Anderson faculty, business and economic development leaders, along with representatives from national disability organizations will present six sessions during the conference including:

• Building the Business Case for Providing Access to Employees/Customers with Disabilities
• Developing a Successful Reasonable Accommodation Process and the Final disability Definition Regulations
• HR Opportunities/Collaboration for Employees with Disabilities
• HR Disability Case Discussion
• ADA Access: Serving Your Customers with Disabilities
• Strategic Advantages: How Tax Law and Knowledge of Your True Marketplace will Improve Your Bottom Line

Individuals with disabilities represent 20 percent of the U.S. population and have more than $200 billion per year in disposable income. Anderson Accounting Professor and presenter Craig White says businesses can boost their profits by hiring employees with disabilities and making businesses more accessible and attractive to customers with disabilities.

"Knowledge of accessibility issues can provide a strategic advantage," said White. "For instance, universal design principles make all employees more productive and expand a business' marketing reach. Demographic trends, such as, the aging of the workforce, make this subject relevant to businesses of all sizes."

The cost to attend the Access Means Business Conference is $150. Conference attendees can earn up to 10.5 General Educational credits. For more information Aline Gonzales at gonzales@mgt.unm.edu or to register for the conference visit, Access Means Business Conference.

Media contact: Leslie Venzuela (505) 277-7117; e-mail: venzuela@mgt.unm.edu