Businesses Changing the Status Quo: Shifting the Face of Disability Employment

“I think we need to make the systems work for the people, not for the systems. People are capable of a lot more than we give them credit for, we just have to give them opportunity.” – Damon McLeese, Executive Director of Access Gallery
Pictured are 7 people all smiling. 4 of those people are men and 3 are women.

Did you know that people with disabilities experience higher rates of unemployment than those without disabilities? This mini-documentary series features five businesses working to change that fact! In the Businesses Changing the Status Quo: Shifting the Face of Disability Employment TALKS series, hear from a restaurant, health care, visual arts, entrepreneurship, and retail perspective on ways to create opportunity and support employees with disabilities. It’s simpler than you think!

Why you watch
  • -Understand that employing people with disabilities is not just a socially-conscious action, it’s also a smart business decision;
  • -Learn how these businesses are taking simple and easy steps to accommodate and support their employees with disabilities;
  • -Discover how someone with a disability can become an entrepreneur and why that may be the best career path for them; and
  • -Introduce yourself to business strategies and programs that can ensure meaningful, Competitive Integrated Employment (CIE) for your employees!
Who should watch
  • -Short-staffed businesses;
  • -Businesses interested in creating an accessible environment for their employees;
  • -Individuals with disabilities seeking career path ideas, including self-employment;
  • -Professionals, Families, or Caretakers that support people with disabilities;
  • -Advocacy organizations; and
  • -Disability organizations.

Prefer a podcast? Listen to the full-length podcast. 

A Restaurant Perspective – Meet Catharina Hughey with DIRT Coffee. DIRT is a Colorado local, women-run social enterprise with the mission to bring you quality crafted Huckleberry coffee, food, and drink while training, employing & empowering neurodivergent individuals through workforce development programming.

A Healthcare Perspective – Meet Tyler Wesley and Damian Rosenberg with Personal Assistance Services of Colorado (PASCO). PASCO provides home health care services and supports so that every person may live a fulfilled life in their home and community regardless of disability.

A Visual Arts Perspective – Meet Damon McLeese with Access Gallery, an inclusive nonprofit organization that engages the community by opening doors to creative, educational, and economic opportunities for people with disabilities to access, experience, and benefit from the arts.

An Entrepreneur Perspective – Meet Brent and Jenny Anderson, two siblings that share their perspectives when it comes to shifting the face of disability employment. Brent is an entrepreneur with Autism who owns two businesses, Unintentional Humor and PetsPizzazz. His sister, Jenny, is the founder and CEO of Celebrate EDU, a business that empowers people with disabilities through online business & entrepreneurship education.

A Retail Perspective – Meet Maggie Scivicque with arc Thrift Stores, Colorado’s largest employer of people with Down syndrome, autism, cerebral palsy, and many other intellectual and developmental disabilities.