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Disability and Entrepreneurship: Models of Success

A partnership between College of Charleston (Dr. Cindi May, Psychology; Dr. David Wyman, Management and Marketing) and Tommy and Victoria Baker School of Business at The Citadel (Dr. David Desplaces). Special thanks to Professor Lancie Alfonso for including his students.


The Disability and Entrepreneurship: Models of Success (DEMOS) initiative supports the development of new entrepreneurial endeavors that fully incorporate principles of Universal Design in students’ business models. Successful applications are those that (a) offer a viable, competitive business model, and (b) utilize Universal Design principals to develop a workforce, work environment, product, service, or system that is fully inclusive and universally accessible; particularly for workers and individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities. A core element is the emphasis on educating entrepreneurs about the genuine value that individuals with disabilities bring to the workplace and their value as customers.

D.E.M.O.S. was initially funded through the U.S. Department of Education’s T.P.S.I.D. Project (Transition and Postsecondary Programs for Students with Intellectual Disabilities).


To date, over 900 students have participated in this training.

Part 1: Introduction to the 7 Principles of Universal Design (Video Training)

Students are asked to view the video and take a short quiz that tests their knowledge of UD.

You can also access additional UD resources:

Part 2: Workshop Participation

Students participate in a live or online workshop consisting of challenges to business development where they are asked using gamification to develop solutions that include UD for greater inclusion of people with disabilities.

Part 3: Business Idea/Processes Competition

Each student in their respective classes presents in 60 seconds or less a business idea and/or best practice (depending on the course work involved) that includes UD and fosters inclusion. It is judged based on both the idea and the integration of UD in its design.

DEMOS is offered in in-classroom settings only and is not open to the general public/participation. Please contact Dr. Wyman (School of Business, College of Charleston) or Dr. Desplaces (Baker School of Business, The Citadel) to find out more about future course offerings/availability.

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