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Employer Services

Disability Inclusion at Work

The Employer Services team at Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services offers comprehensive workforce resources for businesses. Our business-centric approach emphasizes the value of disability inclusion to employers.

We deliver training sessions, strategic guidance and practical tools designed to assist businesses throughout Maine in fostering a workplace culture intentionally inclusive of individuals with disabilities. Our overarching mission is to advance disability inclusion in the Maine business economy, narrowing the gap between people with disabilities and meaningful employment opportunities.

Susan Gatti

Susan Gatti

Susan Gatti is a Certified Rehabilitation Counselor who has lived and worked in the Greater Portland area for over 30 years. Susan’s career path has provided her with first-hand experience in, and knowledge of, the Maine labor market including, direct experience working with corporations, non-profit organizations, and small businesses. She has personally established and maintained several small businesses and held management positions in the manufacturing and insurance industries. Prior to her current role as an Employer Relations Specialist, Susan’s work included compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as a Return to Work Coordinator and Reassignment Specialist and working as an Employment Specialist to assist people with disabilities obtain and sustain employment.

Chris Hynes

Chris Hynes

Chris Hynes’ strategic creativity and focus on business sustainability stems from his recently received MBA from the University of Vermont’s Sustainable innovation program. Chris’ educational specialty is related to social sustainability with a major focus on inclusive hiring practices. Prior to his current role as an Employer Relations Specialist, Chris was an AmeriCorps VISTA member where he managed a children and families program at Emmaus Inc, a homeless shelter in Haverhill, MA. Chris’ combined education and work history provide him with a unique business strategy lens that understands the importance of simultaneously meeting a business’ goals and supporting an inclusive work culture.

Jenn Kimble

Jennifer Kimble

Jennifer N. Kimble, M.S., CRC is the Director of Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services. Jennifer holds a Master’s degree in Rehabilitation Counseling and has worked in the field of supported employment since 1996. After working for several years in Boston, Jennifer returned to Maine in 2002, working as an Employment Specialist at MMC's Department of Vocational Services. She transitioned to Operations Manager in 2003, and to Director in 2017, overseeing local programming in addition to contracts with state and federal agencies. Jennifer is the current Chair of the Maine State Workforce Board’s Commission on Disability and Employment and represents Northern New England on the board of the National Association of Benefits and Work Incentives Specialists.

Training and Education

The Employer Services team provides customized disability inclusion training sessions for various organizational roles, including leadership, managers, staff, human resource professionals, diversity, equity, and inclusion specialists, and talent acquisition partners. Our Exploring Disability Inclusion topics are as follows:

  • Foundation Building: High-level overview of definitions, terms, and statistics to understand the who, what, when, why, and how of disability. Establishing this foundation is key before delving into more specific topics related to disability.
  • Language, Etiquette, and Accessibility: Increases knowledge and skills to enhance awareness, effectiveness, and comfort when communicating with, and about, people with disabilities. Understanding language, etiquette, and accessibility resources enables companies to create an inclusive and supportive environment, avoiding assumptions that may limit opportunities for both the employer and the employee.
  • Tips for Improving Hiring & Retention Efforts: A deeper exploration of the intersection between workforce and disability inclusion, focusing on both recruitment and retention strategies. Participants will acquire practical skills to establish a safe and inclusive work environment for people with disabilities, benefiting everyone in the process.
  • Accommodations & the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA): Covers several topics, including an overview of the ADA's relevance to employees and employers, understanding reasonable accommodations, disclosure, and confidentiality. Participants will gain a comprehensive understanding of the ADA's application in the workplace and learn tools and skills to navigate and support reasonable accommodations effectively.

Education and training offerings can be customized to meet the needs and interests of the specific employer and the audiences. The training courses range from 1 to 1.5 hours and can be virtual or in-person.

  • Sample agenda for a 1st training session:
  1. Part 1: 20-30 minutes
    1. Foundations Building
      1. High overview of definitions, terms, and statistics.
  2. Part 2: 40-60 minutes
    1. Selection of one of the following topics:
      1. Language, Etiquette, and Accessibility
      2. Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) and Reasonable Accommodations
      3. Tips for Building a More Inclusive Culture and Advancing Hiring Practices

Training modules are also available for purchase as a comprehensive four-part diversity, equity and inclusion (DEI) training option, specifically designed to be extended to all employees within your organization.

For organizations interested in purchasing customized training tailored to specific goals, please contact our team at for additional information.

Workforce Recruitment

The Department of Vocational Services team also plays a vital role in supporting job seekers on their vocational journey. Individuals seeking employment opportunities are referred to us by various community agencies around the state. Our dedicated team works in collaboration with business leaders, hiring managers, human resource representatives, and talent acquisition partners to facilitate workforce recruitment and identify meaningful matches that bring value to both businesses and job seekers.

For those interested in recruiting job seekers through our team, please contact We are here to assist in creating mutually beneficial connections in the workforce.

Additional Services

The Employer Services team aims to be a comprehensive resource for all facets of disability inclusion. In addition to our core offerings, our team provides the following services:

  • Review of application, interview, and on-boarding processes
  • Incorporating disability inclusion within a comprehensive DEI strategy
  • Assistance with developing an employee resource group (ERG) specific to disability
  • Review of business policies and procedures to identify opportunities to improve disability inclusion
  • Providing suggestions on how to build an inclusive culture to ensure people with disabilities can bring their best selves to work
  • Assessing compliance with the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) as it relates to reassignment and the accommodation processnt and the accommodation process

Implementing a disability inclusion (DI) strategy yields many benefits and plays a crucial role in cultivating a positive and inclusive workplace culture, as well as positively influencing a company's bottom line. Numerous studies have shown that businesses embracing a disability inclusion strategy often report reduced costs, increased productivity and profits, and improved employee retention.

Financial Benefits

  • Cost Reduction
    • Reduced Turnover: Turnover can be reduced by 20-30% compared to other labor pools; when costs associated with turnover are decreased, productivity and efficiency benefit.
    • Recruiting/HR Costs: By using state funded community organizations and resources (such as DVS), companies can reduce their costs for recruiting and ensure a pipeline of qualified, vetted, and supported job candidates.
  • Improved Market Share
    • People with disabilities represent a large portion of the consumer market. This market share grows if family members, caregiver, friends, and other connections to a person with a disability are taken into account; increased awareness can help boost sales and revenue.
  • Tax Credits & Incentives
    • Companies may be eligible for Work Opportunities Tax Credits (WOTC). They can also use state and local resources to access low-cost/free training programs.

Beyond Financial Benefits

  • Enhanced Reputation
    • Increased awareness by stakeholders and consumers can build brand loyalty and ultimately create a competitive advantage in the market.
  • Increased Innovation
    • Everyday people with disabilities have to be creative in order to adapt to the world around them. This has helped them develop strengths in problem solving, persistence, agility, etc. All of these skills can help boost innovation internal to the company that hired them.


Additional Information

For support related to a specific employee associated with Maine Medical Center’s Department of Vocational Services, contact the employee’s Employment Specialist or Job Coach.

For information about recruiting qualified job seekers or to learn more about Employer Services, please contact

Resources to Advance Disability Inclusion

Strategic Planning: How to get started

The Business Case



Disability Etiquette



Quarterly Newsletter

The Employer Services team publishes a quarterly newsletter to provide resources and information pertaining to disability inclusion in Maine’s workforce.

If you are interested in joining our email list, sign up here.


Please take some time to watch our Employer Relations Specialist, Chris Hynes, give a talk about disability inclusion and the importance of eliminating assumptions around disability. View the video on