Drake University alum and former legislative assistant to retired U.S. Senator Tom Harkin will deliver the conference speech on the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA).

Alliance Enterprises, Inc. (Alliance) announced today that Joseph Jones, the executive director of The Harkin Institute, will give a keynote address at this year’s getAwareLive! 2017 conference on July 26 in Dallas. The getAwareLive! conference annually brings together vocational rehabilitation (VR), disability advocacy and workforce professionals from around the country for the purpose of improving work opportunities for people with disabilities.
Jones will speak on the 27th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) being signed into law. The ADA offers equal opportunity for individuals with disabilities in employment, public accommodations, transportation, state and local government services, and telecommunications. The Harkin Institute for Public Policy & Citizen Engagement at Drake was founded in the spring of 2013 to inform citizens, inspire creative cooperation, and catalyze change on issues of social justice, fairness, and opportunity. The organization offers programming, research, and connectivity focused on areas that defined Senator Tom Harkin’s career, including people with disabilities, retirement security, wellness and nutrition, and labor and employment.
Alliance Enterprises is the nation’s leading provider of case and financial management software for vocational rehabilitation providers throughout the United States. Alliance’s Aware software was first deployed in 1994 and is now used by 38 state VR agencies, 22 tribal nations, and more than 12,000 VR professionals to help people with disabilities find and maintain meaningful work.
“Senator Harkin and The Harkin Institute are synonymous with the ADA, and they continue to be a driving force in supporting people with disabilities,” said Chris M. Pieper, CEO of Alliance Enterprises. “We’re thrilled to have Executive Director Joseph Jones participating at the conference this summer and sharing The Harkin Institute’s insights regarding issues that impact opportunities for people with disabilities.”

Since taking the helm of The Harkin Institute in 2016, Jones has advanced the legacy of Senator Harkin, facilitating non-partisan public policy research and analysis, and proposing solutions aimed to improve conditions for people with disabilities.
“We’re excited about the opportunity to speak on the ADA anniversary to this influential group of vocational rehabilitation and workforce professionals,” Jones said. “With the recent implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA), the landscape has changed somewhat and there are opportunities to further engage and increase awareness about how we can better serve people with disabilities.”
Other keynote speakers for the getAwareLive! 2017 conference include Janet LaBreck, former Commissioner for the Rehabilitation Services Administration (RSA) from 2013 to 2016, and Scott B. Sanders, the Executive Director of the National Association of State Workforce Agencies (NASWA). The two-day conference features best-practice presentations, knowledge sharing, panel discussions, and training opportunities on timely topics like the WIOA and emerging technologies.


To learn more about Alliance’s two-day conference go to http://www.getAwareLive.com.