NEW YORK, Oct. 13, 2021 /PRNewswire/ — The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) today announced Chief of Staff Kristine Welker will present at Advertising Week New York 2021 on the DEI Track at Marketplace Stage Presented by Walmart Connect on Monday, October 18 at 3: 30pm ET, register here.
Joining Welker on the panel will be Mindy Scheier, Founder and CEO of The Runway of Dreams Foundation and Gamut Management, and Tiffany Meehan, Vice President of Marketing for Inclusively. Scheier, Welker and Meehan will discuss how technology can be used to create inclusive employment opportunities, and lasting change for the better.
MDA has been known for its innovative approaches to fundraising ever since the organization teamed up with the media industry and made history with the first ever 24-hour televised telethon, hosted by comedic giant Jerry Lewis. The world was changed by this legendary event, which raised awareness about mission and highlighted people with disabilities – the largest group of minorities in the U.S. MDA has been working with Twitch (Amazon), and other brands such as Verizon and Unilever to increase awareness.
Today, MDA empowers people using innovative platforms such as streaming, gaming, and social media channels. Welker joined Advertising Week to shine a light on the ways brands and media are changing the narrative to be one of ability.
“Everyone has a right to feel gorgeous, which is why inclusive design is a factor manufacturers need to keep in consideration to allow access for all,” said Khadija Bari, in Women’s Health magazine. Bari is the Student Career Coordinator at VISIONS, Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired
Scheier, a former seasoned fashion designer, was inspired to start Runway of Dreams after her son Oliver, who has muscular dystrophy, dreamed of wearing jeans like everyone else. Following its launch, Runway of Dreams partnered with Tommy Hilfiger on the first mainstream adaptive clothing line for kids and continues to work with many mainstream brands such as Kohl’s, Target, JC Penny and Zappos. Runway of Dreams was founded on the belief that clothing is an essential human need. It develops, delivers and supports initiatives that broaden the availability of mainstream adaptive clothing and encourage people with disabilities to enter the fashion industry.
People living with disabilities represent the largest pipeline of untapped talent in the U.S. today. To bridge the gap between talent and purpose-driven organizations, innovative technology platforms are key.
About the Muscular Dystrophy Association
For 70 years, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has been committed to transforming the lives of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. We do this through innovations in science and innovations in care. As the largest source of funding for neuromuscular disease research outside of the federal government, MDA has committed more than $1 billion since our inception to accelerate the discovery of therapies and cures. Research we have supported is directly linked to life-changing therapies across multiple neuromuscular diseases. MDA’s MOVR is the first and only data hub that aggregates clinical, genetic, and patient-reported data for multiple neuromuscular diseases to improve health outcomes and accelerate drug development. MDA supports the largest network of multidisciplinary clinics providing best-in-class care at more than 150 of the nation’s top medical institutions. Our Resource Center serves the community with one-on-one specialized support, and we offer educational conferences, events, and materials for families and healthcare providers. MDA Advocacy supports equal access for our community, and each year thousands of children and young adults learn vital life skills and gain independence at summer camp and through recreational programs, at no cost to families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MDA continues to produce virtual events and programming to support our community when in-person events and activities are not possible. MDA’s COVID-19 guidelines and virtual events are posted at mda.org/COVID19. For more information, visit mda.org.
About Runway of Dreams Foundation
The Runway of Dreams Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works towards a future of inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities. The Runway of Dreams Foundation was founded on the belief that clothing is an essential human need. It develops, delivers, and supports initiatives to increase the availability of adaptive clothing and encourage people with disabilities to wear it. The Runway of Dreams Foundation empowers people with disabilities through adaptive runway shows, awareness campaigns, wardrobe grants, scholarship programs and wardrobe grants.
About GAMUT Management
GAMUT Management is a marketplace where businesses and industries can connect with people with disabilities (PWDs). GAMUT represents actors, models, athletes, and entertainers, even those without professional experience. GAMUT provides entertainment industry consulting, deploying PWDs to deliver authentic casting, messaging, and advertising as depicted in media and pop culture. GAMUT is used by companies and industries to integrate PWDs in every stage of their business, including research, design, marketing, sales, and innovation. This allows them to develop new products and increase revenue streams. GAMUT continues to support the mission of Runway of Dreams, the company’s 501c3 partner.
Inclusively is the technology-centered professional network and employment platform. Our modern recruitment process connects job-seekers with disabilities, mental conditions, and chronic illness to inclusive employers that provide the necessary workplace accommodations. As a matter both of human dignity and economic imperative, we are committed to promoting employment in the community with disabilities. One in four of us will experience a disability or have it during our working lives. We work with candidates who benefit from workplace accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including mobility/physical, visual, hearing, neurodivergent, cognitive, speech, chronic illnesses, mental health conditions, and intellectual disabilities.
SOURCE Muscular Dystrophy Association