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The Power of Entrepeneurship and the World of Diverse Abilities

My daughter has a diagnosis… My daughter’s skills are considered to be limited… My daughter cannot interact with others… My daughter cannot do this or that…

That’s what many consider will happen to an individual with a diagnosis or diverse abilities. 

I say… crapola to all of them…

I choose to interact and respect those who support individuals with a diagnosis, who do not see limits, who welcome interaction and who realize everyone can do something.

These are key elements to expose your child, teen and adult to entrepeneurship. Yes, that powerful word that builds skills that will last a lifetime. Above all, developing responsibility and independence.

This is no easy feat. This takes years to practice. It takes tons of patience. It takes the willingness and desire to accept your child will do things differently and achieve success.

Just remember they cannot do it alone. They need support and guidance. They need help. Repetition is key.

What can you do?

Do you as a parent have what it takes to make it happen? To achieve success? Of course you do! We all do have the capacity to work out the kinks of entrepeneurship. And as long as you are ready to seek support form your network and put aside preconceived notions… You will guide your child/teen/adult with diverse abilities to success.

I’ve begun the process. A recent, beyond magnificent, experience as a vendor at Beale Street Art Crawl in Memphis TN confirms this is the road to travel with my daughter and her abilities.

She has an incredible story.

She has talent.

She has charm.

She is curious.

She has family and friends that support her.

She still has a lot to learn.

The challenges she faces at this early stage of her life cannot be prioritized. Yes, they must be handled, managed, survived… but they cannot rule the dynamics of her existence. And the various mainstream organizations we approach cannot only see or emphasize the challenges.

This is why the media, businesses, organizations and downtown commissions need to fully support individuals with diverse abilities — in whichever field they excel at —

Bring on the Big Guns!

For example… the big organizers of well known art shows in big cities must include artists with diverse abilities. They must consider their lack of funds and open the door to include them in their well attended gatherings. The presence of an artist with diverse abilities does not represent an extra expense. On the contrary, it can mean greater media exposure. It can mean compliance with ADA. It can mean the realization that exclusivity does not represent quality.

Myself and countless families welcome the opportunity to discuss in detail the steps to take to make this a reality.

There are many steps we still need to take. But the ones taken so far are beyond meaningful.

Now,  it is up to others to openly support and accept the value many individuals like my daughter bring to their organizations. And I will continue to remind them!

DETAILS:

See/Read her Retrospective

Recent experiences:

PBS Documentary – Featured Guests: Autism Breakthrough to Hope

** READ THIS REPORT FROM THE OECD

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Background Paper for the OECD Project on Inclusive Entrepreneurship John Kitching Kingston University

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Beale St Art Crawl, Memphis TN = Entrepeneurship and Inclusion

Thomais had a maginificent experience on October 20, 2018. She had her first discovery day as a vendor in a mainstream art show. She received her first lesson in entrepeneurship – creating, being her and receiving payment for her creativity.

This is huge. The repercussions are many for all involved.

Beale Street – Memphis

I had prepared the road by sending a submission – late (lesson #1) – and being extremely persuasive. I had organized pictures of her paintings, present and past experiences and shared the fact Thomais is on the autism spectrum and wants exposure.

I did some research about the location, schedule. Hundreds of scenarios ran thru my mind — what could be fun and what could be too stressful. The fun aspects outweighed the stress and/or challenges.

Lo and behold… a YES was received and Thomais was to have her first experience, as a vendor, in a mainstream art show.

I thought: “Holy cow! I hope this organization understands how meaningful this is. They have chosen to practice inclusion – knowingly or unknowingly.”

Vickie Love – founder and visionary – Beale Street Art Crawl – she convinced the Memphis Downtown Commission and the rest is history!

Video – with Vickie Love – visionary and organizer of Beale Street Art Crawl

There were many details to consider — material, tools, art, money, payment forms, drive, food, set up time, etc. —

I contacted various organizations seeking funds to purchase art material. There was no positive response — but I found out there is an arts reuse organization in Nashville that sells (low, low prices) recycled material! Details here!

Very little would have happened if her uncle Charlie would not have been involved. He’s a beacon in this huge step. He’s an artist. He’s a creator. He’s passionate. He’s a hard worker. And everything he does is full of emotion.

What did we learn?

Our Neighbor Artist!
Also with TM as initials!!!

Keeping it fun is key.

Planning is helpful but must remain flexible. You know when it’s time to go!

Sharing your story, your highs and lows is always welcomed by many. Watch/Read her Retrospective!

Keep smiling even when time passes and no one stops by your table.

Art is subjective… What someone likes, the other person does not…

Social Media rules (Facebook and Twitter) – sharing every step of our trek and discoveries is vital.

The BUYERS!

The reason to buy a piece of art is different for every buyer… There is a story behind every purchase!!

Thomais was so bold and wonderful… She gave away her biz cards. She asked people if they wanted to buy her art!!

The first buyers — got Meowlloween for their daughter!

The second buyer – a young artist who felt moved by Finally Free Niall Horan

The third buyer – an ex-Marine who had lived in Puerto Rico

The fourth buyer – a friend of the family that purchased Meowlloween – he got the We (heart) UFO’s

The fifth buyer – GUMVANA was purchased by a beautiful couple who just reunited after 35yrs!!!
Their initials and another heart was added to the painting!! They willingly paid twice the price!!
#CamilaCabello your song inspired Thomais…
She created a new version of Havana!!!
Beale Street Art Crawl
Victoria Franklin check this!!  Your art show creating magic

The sixth buyer – a mighty supportive young man whose face said it all when he found out Thomais is on the autism spectrum. He asked her to please keep painting…

Will we do it again?  You bet!!! We can’t wait…

Read my entry –  The Power of Entrepeneurship and the World of Diverse Abilities – seeking support from major art organizations and downtown commissions around the country –

Videos:

First Sale

Getting ready

Explaining Gumvana

Almost Last Sale

Discoveries

Art – last 18mths

Getting ready for Memphis!

** READ THIS REPORT FROM THE OECD

ENTREPRENEURSHIP AND SELF-EMPLOYMENT BY PEOPLE WITH DISABILITIES

Background Paper for the OECD Project on Inclusive Entrepreneurship John Kitching Kingston University