Level the playing field... together.
THANK YOU for your attention, enthusiasm, and commitment to supporting the work that is changing what it means to be blind!
We are so grateful you joined us this evening!
6:30-7:05: Check in, get VIP or General Admission Goody Bags, Pictures at logo banner, Beverages from One Hope Wine & Triple Sun Spirits, NEW accessible, inclusive Children's Book for sale
7:05-8:00: Film screening followed by speakers and Thriving Blind in Business panel
8:00-8:05: Special closing celebration
8:15-9:15 VIP after party @ The Temperance House. **VIP lanyard must be worn for after party!)
Information from goody bags and tables:
The Crisis Is Real.
A 2021 Cost of Illness Study by Retina International found that the cost of NOT thriving with blindness to the US and Canadian economies is $31.7 billion.
A critical element of that cost is the unemployment rate in the blind community. 70% of the blind are unemployed.
Blindness is not the cause of the high unemployment rate. A negative bias and inaccessibility are the root causes. The creators of this film know that because they are living proof that when access is available, succeeding without sight is possible.
This film, and the work of all partners involved, will change the negative bias against blindness and inspire employers to make the workplace accessible to level the playing field for blind employees. Experiencing this film will open your eyes to accessibility as The Greatest Equalizer and will reveal a key ingredient to having the competitive edge.
Forget about checking you DEIA employment initiative boxes - this film will show you how hiring workers that are blind gives you the competitive edge and will answer your "how" questions with real examples. YOU can be a catalyst for ending the unemployment crisis for the blind!
The work of Thriving Blind Academy depends on generous supporters. This film will show you how we are solving a decades long crisis and empowering blind individuals to build the lives of their dreams. Everything is in place to crush the crisis. YOU can be the game changer and catalyst for a new era for the blind!
If you are living with blindness/low vision and are NOT thriving in the career of your dreams, this film will show you that you CAN succeed without sight and will connect you to the resources to do so. Take responsibility to live the life of your dreams. Thriving begins with YOU!
Located in the heart of Newtown Borough (Bucks County), the historic Newtown Theatre is the center of entertainment in its community. Young and old alike enjoy the convenience of seeing concerts, comedy shows, movies, live theater, and more—right around the corner, in a charming 235-seat theatre.
The Newtown Theatre has an extensive history dating back to 1831. Originally built as a hall for town gatherings and a non-sectarian church for traveling ministers, it soon became a center of entertainment in Newtown.
Kristin Smedley, Co-Executive Producer, Resident of Newtown, PA
Kristin is the Mom of three children, two of which were born with the rare blindness CRB1-LCA/RP. She is a TEDx speaker, nonprofit CEO, and best selling author of Thriving Blind: Stories of Real People Succeeding Without Sight and Brilliantly Resilient: Reset, Rise and Reveal Your Brilliance. Kristin is the Co-Founder of Thriving Blind Academy, a success strategies organization that is solving the unemployment, literacy and financial crisis in the blind community. Kristin's children thrived in Council Rock schools and the greater Bucks County community.
Charlie Collins, Co-Founder Thriving Blind Academy
Charlie is Co-Founder of Thriving Blind Academy and the SuccessAbility channel on YouTube, a certified Success Principles speaker/coach, and author of the book Tripping Into the Light. Charlie has been featured in two of Jack Canfield's The Success Principles books. Charlie was diagnosed with Stargardt's Disease in his teens and is legally blind.
L.A. Williams, Business Leader
L.A. Williams is the Vice President of Dealer Synergy. He has 10+ years of automotive sales experience. LA has trained thousands of Automotive Sales professionals, Internet / BDC professionals, Sales Managers, General Managers and Dealer Principals. LA is also a very successful music producer. He has produced tracks for Dr. Dre, Lil Wayne, Katy Perry, Karina Bradley, and scores more. L.A. is blind and attended Overbrook School for the Blind in Philadelphia, PA.
EMCEE: Mitchell Smedley
Mitchell is a resident of Newtown, Bucks County. He was very successful in Council Rock schools and scored in the top 3% of high school students in the country that took the SAT test. He is now a sophomore in the Kutztown University of Pennsylvania Honors Program where he is studying Communications and Philosophy. He is host of two popular radio shows on campus; one is sports talk and the other a country music show. Mitchell was born blind due to CRB1-LCA.