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Our mission is to empower people living with neuromuscular diseases to live longer, more independent lives.

Muscular Dystrophy Association Teams Up with Advertising Week on How Innovative Platforms are Changing the Way We Live -- For Good!

NEW YORK, NY. October 13, 2021 – The Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) today announced Chief of Staff Kristine Welker will present at Advertising Week New York 2021 on the DEI Track at Marketplace Stage Presented by Walmart Connect on Monday, October 18 at 3:30pm ET, read more here. Registration for Advertising Week is available here.

Joining Welker on the panel will be Mindy Scheier, Founder and CEO of The Runway of Dreams Foundation and Gamut Management, and Tiffany Meehan, Vice President of Marketing for Inclusively. During their panel, Welker, Scheier and Meehan, will explore how we can join forces and use technology to create inclusive employment opportunities and create lasting change for good.

Muscular Dystrophy Association Teams Up with Advertising Week on How Innovative Platforms are Changing the Way We Live -- For Good!
Muscular Dystrophy Association Teams Up with Advertising Week on How Innovative Platforms are Changing the Way We Live -- For Good!

MDA has been known for its innovative approaches to fundraising ever since the organization teamed up with the media industry and made history with the first ever 24-hour televised telethon, hosted by comedic giant Jerry Lewis. This legendary event changed the world for good, raising mission awareness and putting a spotlight on people living with disabilities – the largest minority group in the U.S. Since then, MDA has continued to promote adaptive and accessible living by collaborating with Twitch (Amazon) and brands like Verizon and Unilever to amplify awareness.

Today MDA is empowering people through innovative platforms, including gaming, streaming and social channels as the pipeline of promise. By joining Advertising Week, Welker hopes to put a spotlight on how media and brands are reshaping the narrative to one of ability.

"Everyone has a right to feel gorgeous, which is why inclusive design is a factor manufacturers need to keep in consideration to allow access for all," said Khadija Bari, in Women's Health magazine. Bari is the College Career Program Manager at VISIONS, Services for the Blind and Visually Impaired.

Scheier, a former seasoned fashion designer, was inspired to start Runway of Dreams after her son Oliver, who has muscular dystrophy, dreamed of wearing jeans like everyone else. Following its launch, Runway of Dreams partnered with Tommy Hilfiger on the first mainstream adaptive clothing line for kids and continues to work with many mainstream brands such as Kohl's, Target, JC Penny and Zappos. Founded on the basis that clothing is a basic human need, Runway of Dreams develops, delivers, and supports initiatives to broaden the reach of mainstream adaptive clothing and promote people with disabilities in the fashion industry.

People living with disabilities represent the largest pipeline of untapped talent in the U.S. today. Innovative technology platforms hold the key to bridging the gap between the talent and purpose driven organization to move progress forward.

About the Muscular Dystrophy Association

For 70 years, the Muscular Dystrophy Association (MDA) has been committed to transforming the lives of people living with muscular dystrophy, ALS, and related neuromuscular diseases. We do this through innovations in science and innovations in care. As the largest source of funding for neuromuscular disease research outside of the federal government, MDA has committed more than $1 billion since our inception to accelerate the discovery of therapies and cures. Research we have supported is directly linked to life-changing therapies across multiple neuromuscular diseases. MDA's MOVR is the first and only data hub that aggregates clinical, genetic, and patient-reported data for multiple neuromuscular diseases to improve health outcomes and accelerate drug development. MDA supports the largest network of multidisciplinary clinics providing best-in-class care at more than 150 of the nation's top medical institutions. Our Resource Center serves the community with one-on-one specialized support, and we offer educational conferences, events, and materials for families and healthcare providers. MDA Advocacy supports equal access for our community, and each year thousands of children and young adults learn vital life skills and gain independence at summer camp and through recreational programs, at no cost to families. During the COVID-19 pandemic, MDA continues to produce virtual events and programming to support our community when in-person events and activities are not possible. MDA's COVID-19 guidelines and virtual events are posted at mda.org/COVID19. For more information, visit mda.org.

About Runway of Dreams Foundation

The Runway of Dreams Foundation is a nonprofit organization that works towards a future of inclusion, acceptance, and opportunity in the fashion industry for people with disabilities.  Founded on the basis that clothing is a basic human need, the Runway of Dreams Foundation develops, delivers and supports initiatives to broaden the reach of adaptive clothing and promote people with disabilities in fashion. Through adaptive runway shows, awareness building campaigns, wardrobe grants and scholarship programs, the Runway of Dreams Foundation is empowering people with disabilities with opportunity, confidence, independence and style.

About GAMUT Management

GAMUT Management is a marketplace where businesses and industries can connect with people with disabilities (PWDs).  GAMUT represents models, actors, sports figures, and entertainers - including those with no professional experience. GAMUT also provides expert consulting to the entertainment industry deploying PWDs to provide authentic casting, messaging and advertising portrayed in the media and pop culture.  In addition, companies and industries utilize the GAMUT marketplace to integrate PWDs into every phase of their business - innovation, research, design, marketing, publicity, and sales - to create new products and revenue streams for growth.  GAMUT continues to support the mission of Runway of Dreams, the company's 501c3 partner.

About Inclusively

Inclusively is the technology-centered professional network and employment platform. Our modern recruitment process connects job seekers with disabilities, mental health conditions, and chronic illnesses, to inclusive employers committed to providing needed workplace accommodations. We are dedicated to driving employment among the disability community as a matter of both human dignity and economic urgency.

1 in 4 of us have or will have, a disability during our working years. We work with candidates who benefit from workplace accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA), including mobility/physical, visual, hearing, neurodivergent, cognitive, speech, chronic illnesses, mental health conditions, and intellectual disabilities.