Creative Spirit’s Inaugural Gala Raises $500,000 to Place People With Intellectual and Developmental Disabilities in Fair-Wage Jobs

Organization announces partnership with The Able Channel to co-create original content

Creative Spirit, the first organization committed to finding fair-wage integrated positions at the best companies in the world for a wide variety of talented individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (IDDs), raised $500,000 and announced a new content partnership at its sold-out inaugural Benefit Gala at the Hotel Eventi in New York City last night.

Creative Spirit announced a content partnership with The Able Channel, a first-of-its-kind Healthcare and Disability Streaming Service set to launch May 2020 that has support from several major media companies, including Disney/ABC and NBC Universal. Laurel Rossi, co-founder and board chair of Creative Spirit, and Brian McCourt, CEO and Founder of The Able Channel, made the announcement together. The service will launch with eight programs, which will feature a blend of information, clinical education and entertainment to help families with members challenged with a wide variety of disabilities.

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“In May, the world will take notice and we will finally make IDD part of a global discussion,” Rossi told the 350 assembled guests. “We’re trying to democratize the information around IDD issues, so that both candidates and companies have access to Creative Spirit’s expertise. And I thank Brian for his partnership.”

Co-hosted by media heavyweights Michael Kassan, CEO of MediaLink, and Jamie Gutfreund, board member of Tubular Labs, the evening drew massive attention and support from a number of top media, advertising and tech companies, which collectively committed to ensuring their hiring practices incorporate people with IDDs.

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The Gala wrapped up with a musical performance by singer and actress Scarlett Burke, who was backed by Creative Spirit Ambassadors Mia Filippone, Gianna Morello and Brendan Lemieux, who have found employment with the help of the organization.

The night’s festivities could not have happened without the sponsorship and support of Verizon, Omnicom, Diageo, Voya, The AD Club, Cisco and Sony, high-performing companies that actively embrace diversity and inclusion.

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