Content Creator

Catarina Rivera Is Advocating for Incapacity Inclusion within the Office. Right here’s How.

Catarina Rivera is a public speaker, DEI guide, content material creator, and Founding father of Blindish Latina. She additionally holds a MSEd, MPH, CPACC. Day by day, Catarina works with corporations to advance office incapacity consciousness, inclusion, and accessibility by way of coaching and consulting.

On the age of 17, Catarina was identified with progressive imaginative and prescient loss and a listening to incapacity. Having to self-advocate at such a younger age, Catarina discovered the ability of sharing her story, having conversations surrounding incapacity, and turning her private journey into public advocacy. Now, she works every day towards breaking stigmas surrounding disabilities by way of highly effective storytelling and advocacy.  

We requested Catarina concerning the story behind founding Blindish Latina, how the ability of Instagram has helped unfold her story far and broad, and the most important misconceptions others have round entrepreneurship. 

Q: Inform us the story behind your organization’s founding: How and why did you begin engaged on Blindish Latina?

A: Whereas I’ve been disabled my entire life, I haven’t all the time felt satisfaction in my incapacity identification. About six years in the past, I began utilizing a white cane for blindness and needed to alter to being publicly disabled. This became an empowering expertise for me as I owned my incapacity and began self-advocating in all conditions, which improved my life. As soon as I reached this place, I needed to do extra with my voice. In 2020, I began an Instagram account referred to as @BlindishLatina as a spot the place I may share tales and lift consciousness. After seeing how my content material was resonating with others, I spotted I may flip this right into a enterprise. That’s after I started creating a private model as a public speaker, DEI guide, and content material creator.

Catarina Rivera Is Advocating for Incapacity Inclusion within the Office. Right here’s How.

Q: What downside does Blindish Latina remedy? 

A: Whereas many corporations and organizations have DEI plans, a lot of them don’t embody incapacity. Oftentimes, corporations and organizations don’t perceive that disabled individuals are the most important minority group. In accordance with 2018 knowledge from the CDC, one in 4 adults in the USA is disabled. Disabled individuals are within the workforce, plus we’re prospects and purchasers. My enterprise helps corporations start or proceed their incapacity inclusion journeys to create higher workplaces for everybody.

Q: What makes Blindish Latina completely different from different comparable corporations?

A: I give attention to storytelling and sharing in an genuine and relatable approach. As a former classroom educator, I understand how to design dynamic, interactive, and efficient studying experiences. As a disabled Latina lady, I deliver a singular intersectional lens to conversations about incapacity.

Q: In what methods has your upbringing or previous experiences contributed to how you use as an entrepreneur?

A: As a result of each of my dad and mom labored in finance-related occupations, I acquired a monetary training from a really younger age. I noticed how they made monetary choices, what they spent their cash on, and acquired worthwhile recommendation. This formed my strategy to entrepreneurship, as I used to be all the time very aware of getting a transparent monetary plan. I’ve left full-time work twice in my life to pursue entrepreneurship. Each instances, I had reached a financial savings aim, created a month-to-month finances, and had a back-up plan in place. This stage of preparation helped me strategy entrepreneurship from a safe place of confidence and abundance.

Q: Did you all the time know that you just needed to be an entrepreneur?

A: I all the time knew I needed to make an impression on the world and do significant work. This is the reason I’ve all the time labored within the public sector, first inside training after which public well being. My mother is a profitable entrepreneur and I believe I used to be impressed by her with out consciously realizing it. Finally, I spotted that I appreciated creating one thing new and turning huge concepts into actuality. I additionally recognize that entrepreneurship permits me the liberty to create my ideally suited life-style and prioritize steadiness.

Q: What’s been essentially the most sudden a part of your entrepreneurial journey?

A: The facility of social media, notably Instagram, shocked me. After I launched my enterprise, I had been posting on @BlindishLatina for greater than a 12 months. A lot of my first purchasers had been members of my Instagram neighborhood who had been additionally leaders of their employers’ incapacity worker useful resource teams or labored in HR or DEI roles. I understood LinkedIn was a enterprise platform, however I used to be not anticipating Instagram to be such an enormous a part of my enterprise success story.


Q: What’s the most important false impression that others have round entrepreneurship?

A: Some individuals assume that entrepreneurs must create a novel, world-changing concept or create an organization that may get bought for an enormous payday. There’s a dominant narrative of privileged entrepreneurs who give up faculty or give up their jobs to go “all in” on a compelling concept. However entrepreneurship appears like aspect hustles and solopreneurs too. You don’t must scale your corporation or promote it. You don’t must give up your job until you need to. Entrepreneurship encompasses many numerous individuals and experiences.

Q: We dare you to brag: What achievements are you most pleased with?

A: In 2022, I reached my aim of changing into a TEDx speaker! I delivered a chat referred to as “Creating Inclusive Workplaces for All” and I really achieved my aim of delivering a robust message that may resonate with the viewers. Changing into a TEDx speaker is one thing I nearly waited longer to attempt to obtain, however I’m pleased with myself for going for it fearlessly and deliberately.

Q: What would you inform your youthful self when you had been to begin your entrepreneurial journey once more?

A: I’ve began 4 completely different ventures in my life, and I discovered classes from each. I might inform my youthful self that you just don’t really have a enterprise till you’re paid for what you supply. Many individuals begin a couple of completely different companies earlier than they’re profitable. Hold going!

Q: What’s subsequent for you and Blindish Latina?

A: My subsequent aim is to write down a guide on incapacity inclusion within the office. I’m additionally increasing my staff so we will serve a rising record of purchasers! My firm can even be doing a number of work to advocate for accessible journey, together with content material creation, model partnerships, coaching, and talking. I like to journey so I’ll be sharing my very own story as a disabled traveler, which helps educate nondisabled people who disabled individuals journey too. Journey ought to be extra accessible for everybody.

Catarina is a member of Dreamers & Doers, a non-public collective that amplifies the entrepreneurial pursuits of extraordinary girls by way of thought management alternatives, genuine connection, and entry. Be taught extra about Dreamers & Doers and subscribe to their month-to-month The Digest for prime entrepreneurial and profession assets.

The views and opinions expressed herein are the views and opinions of the creator and don’t essentially replicate these of Nasdaq, Inc.

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