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Thursday, September 14 • 10:00am - 11:00am
How Disability is an Asset to Entrepreneurship: Panel Discussion FILLING

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People with disabilities are innate entrepreneurs. In fact, the Office of Disability Employment Policy at the Department of Labor reports that people with disabilities are twice more likely to pursue entrepreneurship compared to the non-disabled population. From the moment we wake up, get dressed, drive, communicate, and live our live, we as disabled people, have to adapt to a world that's not build to fit our needs. Yet most entrepreneurship resources and ecosystems are not accessible or inclusive for those with disabilities. During this session we will discuss some of the main barriers disabled people face when pursuing entrepreneurship and hear how entrepreneurs have utilized their disability as an asset for their entrepreneurship journey, business and venture.  

avatar for Diego Mariscal

Diego Mariscal

Founder, CEO & Chief Disabled Officer, 2gether International
As the founder, CEO and Chief Disabled Officer of 2Gether-International, a Washington D.C. based not-for profit, Diego Mariscal utilizes communication technology to engage disabled and non-disabled youth into several disability issues ranging from education and employment to police violence and sexuality. His current area of focus is on developing supports that help disabled entrepreneurs achieve self employment. An expert on youth, social media, and social entrepreneurship, Diego has collaborated with the U.S. Department of State, the Inter-American Development Bank, the Organization of American States, the United Nations and leading technology companies like Blackboard and Crisis Text Line to better engage youth on disability. Diego has been internationally recognized for his work, most noticeably by the Waldzell Institute in Vienna as an Architect of the Future and by the British Council as a Global Changemaker. In 2014, he was also a Youth in International Development and Affairs Fellow for the U.S. International Council on Disabilities. In 2016, Diego was nominated as... Read More →

avatar for Keith Doane

Keith Doane

Keith Doane currently work as Administrative Assistant for Gallaudet Innovation & Entrepreneurship Initiative. A big supporters of Deaf/HH in the entrepreneurship community across the US. He has been involved with DeafSpace, a research on Deaf/Hard of Hearing's way of being in ar... Read More →
avatar for Katherine Mereand

Katherine Mereand

Program Manager, Tech & Innovation Office, DC Department of Small & Local Business Development
I work for DC government & help small and local businesses.
avatar for Rayna Richardson

Rayna Richardson

Rayna C. Richardson is the Owner of PinUp Preserves, a D.C.-based specialty preserves company founded in 2015. In the past 2 years, PinUp Preserves has grown to supply a number of local restaurants and other retailers. Rayna started her company after spending nearly two decades as a Freelancer in Technical Theater, with a focus on Costumes, Wigs, and Make-Up. She has achieved all of this despite living with invisible disability due to chronic neurological conditions. Rayna is challenging and changing the concept of what a disability-owned business looks like, as well as what those with disabilities are capable of achieving. She also works to raise awareness of invisible disabilities and the diversity within disability overall. | | A native New Yorker, Rayna spent her entire High School career in physical rehabilitation relearning how to walk after an otherwise simple injury caused permanent nerve damage to her leg. She still graduated in the top 1% of her class with multiple college credits already earned. A lifelong advocate for herself and others, Rayna mentored Wounded Warriors for over six years, and also worked as a Program Manager overseeing scholarships and... Read More →
avatar for Rick Rodgers

Rick Rodgers

Rick Rodgers, managing director and founder of The Resource Network LLC, improves the bottom line for organizations by connecting internal and external resources in a way that creates a multiplier effect. Throughout his career Rick has been a catalyst bringing together people and... Read More →

Thursday September 14, 2017 10:00am - 11:00am
1776 DC 1133 15th St NW, Washington, DC 20005