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Date: Tuesday, June 1
Time: 12pm ET-2pm ET

The marketing power of disability

According to recent reports from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), 61 million people in the U.S. live with a disability, visible or invisible. Another recent study by the American Institutes for Research (AIR) indicates that working-age people with disabilities have approximately $21 billion in discretionary income.

Not only is this a demographic that brands – and their marcomms teams – cannot afford to ignore, it’s one they must prioritize on myriad levels. As consumers. As employees. As clients. As leaders with insights that can empower comms and broader business strategies.

The pursuit of a diverse, inclusive and equitable workforce has never been more top of mind for the comms industry than it is now. No such considerations are even remotely complete without including people with disabilities.

In this very special event brought to you by Easterseals, which for more than 100 years has been an indispensable resource for individuals with disabilities, veterans, seniors and their families, we drill deeply into how the communications industry – and all the brands it counsels – can more effectively include this extensive population through content and campaigns, but also tap into this incredible pool of talent to bolster corporate DE&I efforts.

AGENDA

12pm ET-12:02pm ET: Introduction by PRWeek managing editor Gideon Fidelzeid
 

12:02pm ET-12:30pm ET: Fighting Fears, Suppressing Stigmas

All too often, disability spurs feelings that range from discomfort to outright trepidation. You see it in everything from how organizations are staffed to how they market and tell stories. These misperceptions are not just unfortunate and misguided, but a missed opportunity to significantly bolster your workplace and your brand. But before any challenge can be tackled, it must be understood and addressed honestly. This session provides a forum and safe space to do so, as we welcome and answer your questions and address head on the concerns, stigmas and lack of understanding about disability inclusion in your branding and workplaces.



Speakers:

Angela Williams

president and CEO
Easterseals

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Bryan Stromer

product marketing manager, founder and co-lead of the Disability in Marketing Group
Microsoft

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Megan Smith 

head of people accessibility
Amazon

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12:30pm ET-12:32pm ET: Break

 

12:32pm ET-12:58pm ET: A workplace that works for everyone

Any company’s external actions and reputation are informed by the way it operates internally. When it comes to being fully inclusive of disabled colleagues, it starts with an office and a culture that is welcoming and nurturing of all. Of course, such discussions today must factor in remote, hybrid and in-office arrangements. Leaders from companies who are models to follow will both inspire and educate during this session to help you develop a workplace that works for everyone.

Speaker:

Paul Gennaro

SVP, brand and corporate communications, chief brand and communications officer
Voya Financial

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12:58pm-1pm: Break

 

1pm ET-1:30pm ET: Featured chat with Marlee Matlin

Our event continues with a powerful and enlightening session featuring the Academy Award-winning actress and activist who lost her hearing when only 18 months old. A renowned advocate for diversity, Matlin’s words and shining example will empower all of us to advocate for inclusion, acceptance, and access for all people as we commit to live lives without judgment of others.

 
Featuring:

Marlee Matlin

Academy Award-winning actress and activist

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Interviewer:
Angela Williams

president and CEO
Easterseals
Interviewer

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1:30pm-1:35pm: Break

 

1:35pm ET-2:01pm ET: The keys to inclusive content

61 million. That’s how many adults in the U.S. live with a disability. $21 billion. That’s the discretionary income at the disposal of working-age people with disabilities. Those numbers put to rest any doubts as to the importance of creating content that reaches and inspires spending among people with disabilities as well as their family members, friends and caregivers. Knowing you need to do something, however, is a far cry from doing it effectively, doing it respectfully, doing it impactfully. This session, featuring top creative minds who are leading the way, will provide a master class, partly by showcasing powerful pieces of content that continue to inspire millions.

 

Speakers:

Kathryn Swallow

Global Brand Vice President
Rexona (at Unilever)

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Kim Sample

President
PR Council

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Angela Williams

president and CEO
Easterseals
Moderator

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2:01pm-2:03pm ET: Closing comments by Easterseals president and CEO Angela Williams and PRWeek managing editor Gideon Fidelzeid

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