Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM) this October by joining the Prospector for the inaugural Do Good Business Conference - a full-day, hybrid conference detailing how diversity, inclusion, and accessibility can better your business and bottom line.
The Prospector is a 501(c)(3) non-profit providing competitive and inclusive employment for people with disabilities through the operation of a first-run movie theater and online popcorn shop. Opened in 2014, the Prospector has trailblazed a revolutionary model of social enterprise, developed as a solution to the crises of unemployment and underemployment among working-aged people with disabilities.
Approximately 80% of Americans with disabilities have no job. Since opening, the Prospector has been committed to creating best practices that can be adapted to any business, large or small. “We can work, want to work, and add tremendous value,” says Prospector Executive Director Mike Santini.
More than 320 Prospects - the name of all Prospector employees - have worked at the Prospector since opening, uniquely positioning the organization to reshape business conversations in regard to inclusion and accessibility. “Through universally designing workplaces and businesses, we can tap into a talented workforce and a consumer market with over $500B in discretionary income.
What we’re doing isn’t nice; it’s good business.” The Do Good Business Conference is being designed as a collaborative space for mission-driven businesses to learn from accessibility experts, game-changing entrepreneurs, HR professionals, IT innovators, non-profit start-ups, and industry leaders. Participants will learn strategies for creating competitive and inclusive employment and universally-designed customer experiences.
“By teaching others how we do our work, we hope to create a community where we can come together to tackle common challenges and collaborate on systemic change,” says Kathleen Eubanks, Prospector’s Director of Continuing Education. The Conference is an answer to a common inquiry received by the Prospector: how do I create something like Prospector in my community? With over 120 such inquiries in the last nine years, the Prospector recognizes the massive demand for their model - especially for young people with disabilities aging-out of the educational system.
These are concerns that Eubanks constantly hears from schools that partner with the Prospector for service-learning programs. The Prospector welcomes thousands of students annually for educational programming about the importance of inclusion, empathy, and accessibility. “We work with a lot of the transition programs from local high schools,” explains Eubanks. “These programs focus on independent living skills and job preparedness. Through building meaningful relationships with schools and administrations, we’ve been able to identify the gaps that exist in workforce development and how we can help bridge them.”
Eubanks has been spearheading the Conference, building on the connections the Prospector has made with entrepreneurs and global businesses who are aligned with the mission of the Prospector. Local like-minded organizations, such as Sweet P Bakery and the Porch at Christie’s, will present alongside larger employers, like IBM, providing attendees with a wide array of strategies for creating more meaningful work in their communities. In addition to industry-leaders, the Prospector has also connected with central figures in the Disability Rights Movement. John D. Kemp, co-founder of the American Association of People with Disabilities and current President & CEO of the Lakeshore Foundation, will provide a keynote on how people with disabilities bring value and leadership to organizations.
Registration is now open for the Do Good Business Conference - with both in-person and virtual options.
To learn more about Prospector’s Do Good Business Conference, or to register, visit https://www.prospectortheater.org/dgb23
Learn more about the Prospector https://www.prospectortheater.org/