Recovery through Inclusion – Ablr Celebrates NDEAM 2021
October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month (NDEAM), and this year’s theme is “America’s Recovery: Powered by Inclusion.” This reflects the importance of ensuring that people with disabilities have full access to employment and community involvement as we come out of the pandemic.
Here for our Keynote is Lindsay Wrege, who founded 321 Coffee to empower her friends who have intellectual and developmental disabilities. She founded 321 Coffee when she was a Freshman in college, and has grown it in to a viable business in just 4 years – one that is still operating through a pandemic. Her story shows us that people with disabilities have been part of the recovery, and will continue to be, as 321 Coffee grows and expands across North Carolina and beyond!
Then hear from our exciting panelists, who come from varied backgrounds and experiences, who will share how they are contributing to the economic growth of the country while also helping to break down stigmas and barriers that have kept people with disabilities out of the workforce.
An ASL interpreter and CART captioning will be provided during this event. For any additional accommodations, please email Sarah Clark
Event Time & Day
October 26, 2021, 12:00 PM in Eastern Time (US and Canada)
Co-Founder & CEO, 321 Coffee
Lindsay Wrege is the co-founder and CEO of 321 Coffee, a coffee shop and roaster in Raleigh, NC that employs individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. Her inclusive staff, featuring people with down syndrome, autism, and other forms of neurodiversity, together are modeling inclusion for other companies to follow. She started this company in college, and it now employs over 20 adults with IDD. Lindsay believes in the power of using business for social impact.
Research Specialist, Ablr
Courtney Bolden is a second-year Global MBA candidate at The George Washington University School of Business, concentrating on strategic brand management and digital marketing/analytics. She is interested in consumer behavior, market research, and market trends across a variety of industries. Currently, she interns at Ablr, where she primarily conducts research on disability inclusion best practices and understanding the experience of employees with disabilities in the workplace. Before pursuing her MBA, Courtney worked at Amtrak on the labor relations department’s arbitration team. She received her undergraduate degree from Cornell University in 2017.
Owner, Inner Voice Accessibility Consulting LLC
Jeff Wissel had a distinguished career at Fidelity Investments for the past 28 years. Jeff served as a Certified Financial Planner in a variety of roles. Most recently Jeff was the Founder of the Fidelity Enable Employee Resource group for associates who are directly or indirectly impacted by disabilities. Jeff was the Co-Founder and Director of the Office of Customer Accessibility and the Director of the Procurement Accessibility program. Today Jeff is the owner of Inner Voice Accessibility Consulting LLC where he provides Digital Accessibility Consulting Services for Businesses and Organizations. Jeff’s passion is in speaking with organizations focused on embracing our disabilities as a strength and leveraging vulnerability to impact organizational change.
Talent Scout for Products and Technology, Red Hat
I am Jamie Edson, I am a Talent Scout for Red Hat’s Products and Technologies division, and I have been working in Talent Acquisition for over ten years. I also serve as Co-Chair to an internal employee resource group for individuals with disabilities called Diverse Abilities. My work with Diverse Abilities is focused on global engagement and enablement, bringing awareness and bettering access to accessibility tools and accommodations, increasing the recruitment and retention of individuals with disabilities, and partnering with external organizations. Additionally, I have a Chronic Illness, I was diagnosed with Sacral AGenesis when I was born as my spine did not fully develop below L4. Consequently, I walk with crutches and have always ‘worn my disability on my sleeve’ so to speak, since I stand out in a crowd I have always tried to help people understand what my diverse abilities are. I feel people are often surprised when they realize how capable I am. I was the first person in New England to compete in adaptive snowboarding competitions. I was also a member of the golf teams in high school, and during college. I also lived on my own in Manhattan for some time, and largely got around on a skateboard. I have learned to embrace my abilities and I hope to build awareness around disability inclusion in society.
Barista, 321 Coffee
Megan is a 24-year-old Raleigh native and a barista for 321 Ventures, as well as a grocery store employee. She enjoys working out, spending time with her friends and boyfriend, being with her family and making memories with her 1 year old niece. Megan is currently building my acting career for live theater and television. She is a gold medal swimmer for the Raleigh Racer Wake Co. Special Olympics and this has allowed her to become a Global and Health Messenger for them. In her free time, she loves swinging on the swings, listening to music, and she also loves to write mystery stories.