DOBE Spotlight Series: No Barriers Media
No Barriers Media, a Disability:IN® certified disability-owned business enterprise® (DOBE ®), is a multimedia production company specializing in strategic communications solutions, and developing messages inclusive of people with disabilities.
Andrew Houghton, No Barriers Media founder, got into the media production business as a result of a production project he created for a news station. That experience allowed him to realize the influence media can have on its audience, particularly changing perceptions of people with disabilities. That initial project, along with his experience hosting a sports lifestyle show, created an opportunity for Andrew to travel nationally and internationally highlighting competitive and recreational adaptive sports. Perhaps more importantly, he was able to introduce viewers to the capabilities of people with disabilities and their unique stories of success.
Over the next 20 years, Andrew continued his media production efforts. However, he also explored other ventures to build a foundation and infrastructure to improve the overall health and quality of life for people with disabilities. In 2012, in order to accept philanthropic funding for a day-in-the-life film about six active wheelchair users, Andrew launched No Barriers Media. Since then, the company’s body of work has expanded to include commercials, PSAs, marketing videos, cartoon animation videos, training videos, 3D animation and motion graphics, accessible media and descriptive audio.
Andrew noticed small business certification by organizations such as WBENC and NGLCC helped business grow, so he was keen to gain certification when Disability:IN established its own supplier diversity program. In fact, Andrew was one of the first vendors to apply to become DOBE® certified.
For Andrew, being certified comes with many benefits. It’s given No Barriers Media the opportunity to work with companies like McKesson, Merck, Bank of America, Voya, Bristol Myers Squibb, and many others. It’s also created the opportunity to collaborate and learn from other DOBEs.
One such collaboration developed into iDisability™, an e-learning platform for disability inclusion training. After years of researching a best business model for this concept, Andrew realized he needed additional expertise in the areas of content development and accessibility. So, Andrew partnered with fellow certified DOBE®, Bender Consulting Services, to create iDisability, an enterprise-wide eLearning solution launched at the 2016 Disability:IN Annual Conference and Expo. “As evidenced with my partnership with Bender and other DOBEs, I believe it is important to add value to the customer and to your product by teaming with others who have different certifications.”
As a certified DOBE and No Barriers Media representative, Andrew has attended various Disability:IN Annual Conferences. He finds they are “extremely important to the growth of your business,” providing guidance through educational and experiential workshops, and giving attendees an opportunity to personally engage with potential suppliers, share their stories, and learn from others.
Disability:IN’s Supplier Diversity Program was designed to help certified DOBEs advance contract opportunities with corporations as well as government agencies. By having a procurement model based on diversity and inclusion, corporations and DOBEs achieve greater economic self-sufficiency, positive community impact, and strengthen the American economy. For more information about this certification program and others we provide, please contact Cami@disabilityin.org.
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