October is National Disability Employment Awareness Month! Hear from Self-Advocate Council Member Shawn on what this month means to him:
Have you ever had a love for something and never thought it could turn into a talent that you would be good at or even one day a business? Well, that was the case for me. Growing up I loved to listen to many different types and genres of music and enjoyed dancing to them also. That same love for music carried over into my adult years. Little did I know that my love for music would one day turn into a talent and eventually a business that I would enjoy doing more than anything.
Since 2010 I have DJ’d mostly for my building’s annual holiday party and for a few other events outside of my building for organizations that I knew very well and were a part of in some way. In the early part of 2022, I was having a conversation with someone I know and trust about all the DJ events I have been doing over the past number of years. They mentioned that I should turn this into a legit business because they could see a great potential that I could not see at the time. I mentioned then that I could not start a DJ business because I do not drive. They then told me to not let that stand in my way as I just needed to eventually find the right business partner who would not only help me run the business side of things but would also agree to be my transportation to and from the Gigs that I would book throughout the year.
At first, I thought they were crazy for even mentioning it as I was afraid of the unknown. After giving it, some thought I decided to go ahead and pursue my dream of having my own Mobile DJ business and came up with the name DJ Captain Kirk. Since coming up with that name I have become the resident DJ for events that the Arc of Virginia may have throughout the year. I also have become the resident DJ for any events that the Autism Society Central Virginia may have throughout the year. Because I decided to not let the fear of the unknown stand in my way, I was able to provide the music for the ASCV Duck Race & Festival of Inclusion this year and I can tell you that was a very fun day for sure.
My next big milestone in my DJ career is coming up in November when I get the privilege to DJ for the ASCV Annual Gala being held at the Altria Theater here in Richmond, VA in their Grand Ballroom on November 19th, 2022. Once I get my business plan together, I am hoping to call my DJ Company Captain Kirk Entertainment. If I can leave those of you who are reading this who have a disability with a word of wisdom it would be this:
“Never give up on your dreams and to show people that we are capable of more than we are sometimes given credit for.”