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Accessibility Partners

 

2010 Stevie Award Winner

Company: Accessibility Partners, Silver Spring, MD USA
Company Description: Accessibility Partners LLC is a top- notch company that provides consulting for companies that wish to make their technology more accessible to people with disabilities in the workplace. Accessibility Partners provides best in class services to both the public and private sector that are desirous of innovative solutions for product usability.
Nomination Category: Individual Categories
Nomination Sub Category: Best Executive – Service Businesses – up to 100 Employees

Nomination Title: Dana Marlowe, President

Describe for the judges the activities and accomplishments of the nominated executive during the eligibility period (up to 500 words):

July 26 marked the 20th anniversary of the Americans with Disabilities Act
(ADA). Before the ADA went into effect, a company like Accessibility Partners
would never have existed. Unfortunately, there would have been no niche for it.
Today, consulting for accessible technology is a relatively small but very
competitive field. Accessibility Partners has only been in existence for a mere
fourteen months, and despite the time frame and competitors, it has already
turned over $500,000 in profits. Accessibility Partners thrives on providing
consulting to public and private businesses who want to make their technology
accessible to a market of 58 million people who have disabilities. The
company’s efforts, led by principal partner Dana Marlowe, have ensured that
they are now one of the world’s leading accessibility consulting firms.
Accessibility Partners provides Section 508 compliance along electronic and
information technology accessibility solutions for clients in the public and
private sectors. Furthermore, Accessibility Partners helps demolish accessibility
barriers on a daily basis. They express deep care with respect their clientele,
despite the connotations that ‘consulting’ keeps them separate and aloof from
people with disabilities. People with disabilities make up over 70% of
Accessibility Partner’s work force. The company hires people with disabilities to
test the usability of their products. It is the best possible outcome of a
for-profit business model: Accessibility Partners is able to hire a highly underutilized and
very talented part of their labor pool. In June of this year, more than 21% of
people with disabilities were in the labor force, in comparison to the 70% of
people with no disabilities. The unemployment rate for those with disabilities
was at 14%, compared with about 9% percent for persons with no disabilities.
Accessibility Partners uses this uniquely talented group of people with
disabilities to audit IT, train, and consult on how to make technology more
effective for other people with disabilities. The process is challenging but not
without successes. Accessibility Partners is an example of entrepreneurial
success. Online magazines and blogs, such as FoxNews, NBC, Glamour
Magazine, BizTech magazine, the Entreprenette Gazette, and Technorati
feature articles about the company with emphasis on Dana’s dedication to her
work. Her enthusiasm led her to the Hot Momma’s Project, where her
unique case study was a finalist in the competition this spring. Prentice-Hall will
publish the case study in a leading business textbook for use by college
students. Last year, the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation recognized Dana as one of
the top 35 professionals under 35. She has represented
Accessibility Partners and their commitment to accessible technology by leading
a program entitled Social Networking Tips and Tools for Accessing the
Inaccessible at the 25th Annual International Technology & Persons with
Disabilities Conference. Dana Marlowe also presented on expanding
telecommunications for people with disabilities to numerous companies and
academic institutions in Rochester, New York. Last year, Dana presented on
disability awareness in Mexico in a worldwide attempt to promote this area.
There are plans in the making for future international efforts on technology for
people with disabilities. Accessibility Partners may be new but its impact is
profound. Every day it strives for technological equality and every day, it
succeeds a little more.

List the URLs (web addresses) of any online news stories, press releases, or other documents that you would like the judges to see that support your entry. IMPORTANT: List each URL on a separate line, begin each URL with http://, and enclose each URL in square brackets. For example, [http://www.yourcompany.com/pressrelease.html]:

http://www.AccessibilityPartners.com/
http://www.womeninbiz.sbresources.com/blog/blogpost.cfm?threadid=87&catid=13
http://www.biztechmagazine.com/article.asp?item_id=765
http://www.theentreprenettegazette.com/2010/04/20/the-one-tip-that-changed-my-business
http://www.foxnews.com/leisure/2010/04/09/airport/
www.washingtonian.com/print/articles/3/36/15489.html
http://www.rit.edu/news/?v=47272
http://technorati.com/lifestyle/article/making-technology-accessible-to-the-disabled
http://www.greenconnected.com/DisplayPressRelease.aspx?PRNum=6
http://www.csunconference.org/index.cfm?EID=80000218&p=151&page=scheduledetail&
LCID=3753&ECTID=0

Provide a brief biography of the nominated executive (up to 100 words):

Dana Marlowe has provided accessible technology consulting for over sixteen
years. She and a business partner founded Accessibility Partners fourteen
months ago. In this short time, the company has government clients as well as
Dell, Symantec, McAfee and Kodak. Dana travels across the globe to visit her
clients, provide staff to test products and promote disability awareness. Dana
brings 95% of the business for Accessibility Partners. Lately, she bestows her
seasoned knowledge to college students as a mentor. She also enjoys
volunteering for the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation and the American Cancer
Society.