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Wed, May 29

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Webinar

Neurodiversity and Employment

Hear from two companies that employ a neuro-diverse workforce, as well as the co-founder of the Colorado Neurodiversity Chamber of Commerce.

Neurodiversity and Employment
Neurodiversity and Employment

Time & Location

May 29, 2024, 12:00 PM – 1:00 PM MDT

Webinar

About the event

The neuro-diverget population continues to have a relatively high rate of unemployment and underemployment. What are some strategies to increase gainful employment opportunities? We are pleased to present this free webinar to discuss employment for neuro-divergent communities. Join us to hear from two companies that employ a neuro-diverse workforce, as well as the co-founder of the Colorado Neurodiversity Chamber of Commerce.

Meet Our Panel

Amanda Kelly, President and CEO, Firefly Autism and Co-Founder, Colorado Neurodiverse Chamber of Commerce

Dr. Kelly graduated with a Doctorate of Psychological Science from Maynooth University, Ireland, in 2011. Her research background is in Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT) and Relational Frame Theory (RFT). She has established research and practices within each area to promote overall behavioral health and social justice. She is certified as a doctoral-level Board Certified Behavior Analyst© (BCBA-D) and passionate about neurodiversity affirming, values-based and trauma informed approaches. Amanda moved from her home in Ireland to Colorado, USA, in 2013. 

She is President and CEO of Firefly Autism and Co-Founder of the Colorado Neurodiversity Chamber of Commerce (CNDCC). She also serves on the Board of the International Womens Forum, Advisory Committees for the Community College of Aurora and State Behavioral Health Leadership Team. Additionally, she's a member of the Association for Contextual Behavioral Science, and sits on a federally approved Institutional Review Board at Firefly Autism.  In her roles, Amanda focuses on values based and transparent leadership to drive innovation in both business and non-profit sectors. She is dedicated to promoting and advancing meaningful societal change for all with whom she works.

Sam Morris, Chief Executive Officer, Blue Star Recyclers

Sam is the Chief Executive Officer for Blue Star Recyclers, a Colorado-based social enterprise founded in 2009 with a mission of recycling electronics to create jobs for people with autism and other disAbilities. Sam joined Blue Star in 2015 as Director of Operations, based out of the Colorado Springs recycling operation. In 2019 he took over as CEO with overall responsibility for the four Blue Star locations in Colorado and the expansion location in Chicago.

Sam is an advocate for giving customers a simple model to embrace environmental accountability while investing in their local communities. Recent professional accomplishments for Sam and Blue Star include Nonprofit of the Year (2018) and recognition as a ColoradoBiz Top 25 Young Professionals (2020).

Jonathan Sabar, Business Development Manager, Blue Star Recyclers 

Jonathan joined Blue Star Recyclers as Business Development Manager in Denver. His son Ian is Production Lead at the Denver Recycling Operations. After growing up in Denver, Jonathan spent eight years in the Navy (including 5 years on submarines), then came back to get his engineering degree from the Colorado School of Mines. While he has worked in a variety of fields (including software, healthcare product sales and even owning and operating a fitness facility), Jonathan's passion has always revolved around helping others excel. Along with raising his own Autistic son, Ian, he has very memorable experiences helping to coach Special Olympics. He is thrilled to continue helping people with disAbilities reach their potential.

Laura McKenna, Executive Director, Tall Tales Ranch

Laura began her career out of college as a recreation counselor serving people with intellectual and developmental disabilities over 35 years ago. Since then she has served as Executive Director in residential settings for people with I/DD before working in housing and homelessness as the Executive Director of HomeAid for nearly 20 years. As a mother of a 25 year-old son with an intellectual disability, Laura has seen the challenges of providing adequate housing and employment for her son and others affected by cognitive disabilities. She returned to her roots as the Executive Director of Tall Tales Ranch in January 2022 and is committed to providing innovative and inclusive housing solutions and employment opportunities for people with intellectual and developmental disabilities.

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