Advertising industry leaders from around the world have joined forces open Creative Spirit, a nonprofit that's dedicated to matching people with disabilities like Down Syndrome, Williams Syndrome, autism and Asperger Syndrome with careers at creative companies.
Creative Spirit, along with The ADVERTISING Club of New York, worked closely with partner companies, Rauxa -- the largest women-owned advertising agency in the US -- and Publicis New York. Creative Spirit already has a backlog of more than 50 companies interested in signing on to provide positions.
Marcel Sydney founder David Nobay began an early iteration of Creative Spirit in Australia in 2008. Two years ago, Nobay started planning a U.S. version with Laurel Rossi, chief marketing officer of Rauxa and mother of a 16-year-old daughter with Williams Syndrome, and Ad Club New York President-CEO Gina Grillo. Publicis Groupe, especially Jeff Kling, chief creative officer at the Publicis agency Fallon, has also played a big role, says Rossi.
The goal, Rossi says, is to decrease the unemployment rate among those with intellectual and developmental disabilities, or IDDs, which is currently at 85 percent. Creative Spirit is looking to create 130,000 fair-wage jobs for those with IDDs by 2020, she says.
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