Out of Step online marketplace for people with disabilities

Listen to this post:

I recently joined this fabulous website called Out of Step. Find them at www.OutofStep.com.

“Out of Step is an online marketplace and platform connecting people with disabilities to consumers and employers. On Out of Step, people with disabilities can sell products, offer services or post a resume. Anyone can use Out of Step’s marketplace to discover great items, service providers or employees.

Out of Step is founded on two core beliefs:
1. People with disabilities are capable of great work and deserve equal opportunity.
2. An economy that empowers and integrates people with disabilities benefits us all.”

All of that is wording from their site. Here’s their site in my words.

They believe people with disabilities are more than our impairments. Having impairments or disabilities means we automatically belong to a strange group. We’re 18% of the U.S. population. Only about 11% of us have full-time work that pays a living wage. Some people think that’s because a full 89% of us can’t work, don’t want to work, and/or have little to offer.

Don’t forget about the marketplace where it’s hard for some of us to get through an interview without being judged, where some workers are paid less because they move slower, and where some places are simply inaccessible. These are just some realities.

If you have a disability and want to put up a profile and list the goods and services you sell, it’s free. You certainly don’t need to have any kind of impairment to shop around. It’s the place to go if you want to support business owners, entrepreneurs and workers with disabilities.

My timing in finding Out of Step is really cool. At the moment, I’m making a five-minute documentary about Lavaun Heaster. I posted about her Kickstarter campaign a while back. Originally, my film was exploring invisibility: many parts of her identity are invisibilized. You can’t see her disabilities, and you also can’t see that she’s a person of color because her skin is white. So it can be easy for some people to question whether she has disabilities at all or is a certain ethnicity. She does, and she is.

What the film is turning out to be is one of Lavaun’s favorite topics to discuss: how do we work together to set up structures to support people with disabilities to start and run their own businesses successfully? You know, like she’s doing. She talked eloquently about it in the post on this blog about the A Roll In The Park celebration in September.

Stay tuned. My documentary on Lavaun will premiere on December 13th after I figure out a title for it. (Dang movie titles. I’m terrible with them!) She is also having a super fun calendar release party on December 8th, unveiling the 2014 calendars that we helped get published through her Kickstarter. More details on both to come.