132: How Entrepreneur Carmen Jones is Normalizing Disability, Focusing on Her Niche and Busting Down Stereotypes

 

Carmen Jones learned very early about how painful stereotypes are. She and her family experienced racism as they moved into certain neighborhoods thanks to her father’s corporate job with IBM, with children willing to play with her at school; but unwilling to have her visit their home. Her mom always encouraged she and her siblings to take the high road. When, at age 20, a terrible car accident caused Carmen to become a paraplegic, she went from a 5’10” student walking around the campus of Hampton University to being in a wheelchair and dependent on friends to, at times, carry her — literally. This experience exposed her to a whole new set of stereotypes to overcome: Disability. This time, she doesn’t just take the high road, she has made it her business to educate others about people with disabilities (“We just do what we do!”), and to educate companies about the importance of marketing to and hiring individuals within the disability market.

 

As CEO of Solutions Marketing Group, Carmen’s agency works to “position her clients to understand, penetrate and retain the disability market.” On this episode of the Support is Sexy podcast, Carmen shares why she sees it as her personal mission to normalize disability, to bust down stereotypes and to educate companies so they know that when they hire someone with a disability, they could completely change the trajectory of that person’t life in the best way. She also shares how the accident that caused her disability ended up being one of her most transformational moments.

 


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On this episode you’ll learn:

  • Importance of market  research.
  • How to utilize speaking engagements to your advantage.
  • Why building relationships is the fuel of your business.
  • The power of the disability market.
  • The difference between accessibility and accommodations.
  • Lessons she learned from her chair.
  • Top three misconceptions about people with disability.
  • How companies should consider the disability market — it’s bigger than you think

 

 

VISIT SOLUTIONS MARKETING GROUP at disability-marketing.com.

 

FOLLOW SOLUTIONS MARKETING GROUP at…

Facebook: @SolutionsMktgGroup

Twitter: @SolutionsMktg

 

 

RESOURCES MENTIONED IN THIS EPISODE

National Council for Independent Living
Americans with Disabilities Act
If You Want to Walk on Water, You’ve Got to Get Out of the Boat by John Ortberg (Zondervan, 2014)
Where Will You Go From Here? by Valerie Burton (Waterbrook, 2011) (a book not mentioned in the episode, but that Carmen later shared was one that helped her heal)

 

 

 

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[Music: “Easy” by SPCZ]