This September, leaders from around the world descended upon New York City as part of the Clinton Global Initiative’s annual meeting aimed at both creating and implementing solutions to the world’s most pressing challenges, including climate change, inclusive economic growth, and health equity.
As part of this multi-day event, our founder and president, Kathryn Webster was provided the incredible opportunity of addressing the audience on behalf of the TAD Foundation and being named a Clinton Global Initiative 2023 Change Maker.
Here are Kathryn’s remarks:
“Good morning CGI community! My name is Kathryn Webster; and I am so proud to serve as the founder and president of the TAD Foundation, together Achieving Dreams. This morning, I’m trusting you to do me a favor. Close your eyes for just a moment. I want to tell you about an everyday person, the only blind person in management consulting at a top consulting firm. The only blind person having graduated Harvard Business School. And now the only blind person at KKR, the investment firm. This everyday person sounds impressive, right? No, instead, this woman is the only blind person because the unemployment rate for the blind has hovered at 75% for decades and society is not doing its part to shift that percentage.
Imagine a world where the overwhelming intrusion and disruption of biases and stereotypes didn’t exist. A world where untapped potential is embraced for all capabilities; a world where one’s ability to see doesn’t blur perspectives of their worth and competence.
Now, please open your eyes. Just because you couldn’t see me, doesn’t mean I’m not here. And just because blind people can’t see, doesn’t mean they don’t exist. Yet that 75% number continues to flood our minds because society doesn’t open the opportunity to show we are here and talented and ready.
I am here today because I worked incredibly hard and pushed my own limits, but I owe much of my success to a differentiating formula: three facets that made success possible – my parents, my mentors, and corporations that believed in my capabilities which we are now scaling across the country through The TAD Foundation, a 501C3 nonprofit committed to increasing employment for the blind and low vision community. Through mentoring, we are providing blind college students with advanced technical and leadership skills to unleash their potential and truly excel. For families, we are supporting them each step of the way, so they are raising a child with independence, confidence, and skills. For businesses, we are providing a pipeline of qualified candidates who will shine in the workplace, but also partnering with those companies to broaden their DEI goals to prioritize disability.
My dream is for every college student, family of a blind child, and company to know blind people deserve a seat at Harvard, or in finance, or as a management consultant, lawyer, entrepreneur, whatever it may be. My dream is to have blind representation in every company. My dream is to shatter society’s misconceptions of blindness and remove the implicit barriers. Now it’s your turn, trust us, and let’s together, achieve our dreams of getting qualified, capable, and exceptionally talented people to work.”
The TAD Foundation would like to invite you to join us on our mission to increase employment for the blind and low vision community by bridging the gap between potential and possibility.
Here Are Three Ways You Can Join us On Our Mission:
- You can follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and LinkedIn and help us reach more people with your likes, comments, and shares: Facebook, Instagram, LinkedIn
- You can join us at our Second Annual Gala in New York City on February 24, 2024, an Evening for Dreams.
- You can support the TAD Foundation in changing the lives of blind and low-vision graduates entering the workforce by making a tax-deductible donation.
Who is the TAD Foundation?
Together Achieving Dreams (TAD) Foundation Inc. is increasing the employment rate for the blind and low vision communities across corporate America by bridging the gap between potential and possibility.