This Business of Autism

Date: Thursday, May 31st, 2018
Time: 7:30pm
Location: Soundview Cinemas (7 Soundview Market Place, Port Washington, NY)


Stephen Mackey | USA | English | Documentary

This Business Of Autism is an expository documentary film about the economic and societal benefits of employing young adults with autism.  Centered around the acquisition, construction and launch of Spectrum Designs’ new production facility in Port Washington, New York—a custom screen printing and embroidery business—the film will address the positive impacts of developing profitable businesses while leveraging the unique capabilities of adults with autism.  By confronting head-on the reality that an estimated 70% to 90% of these adults are unemployed or underemployed, these businesses can also provide large companies with an avenue for corporate social outreach, mitigate the economic impacts on local communities of housing and caring for adults with autism, and provide hope for families that their children might have sustainable, relevant and stimulating employment opportunities.

In addition to exploring the growth and success of Spectrum Designs, the film examines several other themes and initiatives from across the country. The Autism Job Club, a networking and support organization based in San Francisco, illustrates how their group has made significant progress in placing individuals on the spectrum in high-tech Silicon Valley jobs as well as other industries. Mercyhurst University’s Autism Initiative (AIM) program is helping their students acquire not only the hard skills central to their degree, but also the “soft skills” critical in networking and interviewing. The production team traveled to Erie, PA to conduct interviews with students and administrators, and then to New York City, NY to capture the team in action as they toured companies and conducted mock interviews.

Dr. Temple Grandin, a legend in the autism community, makes a special guest appearance in the film as do New York State Senator Elaine Phillips, former New York State Senator Jack Martins, and the former California Director of Employment Development Department, Michael Bernick.



Patrick Bardsley
Co-Founder & CEO, Spectrum Designs
Co-Founder, Nicholas Center

Patrick is in charge of the day-to-day running of Spectrum Designs Foundation. He holds a Masters in Special Education, with a concentration in Behavior Analysis through CW POST. A natural leader and innovator, he spends most of his time securing future growth and relationships for the betterment and expansion of all of our social enterprises.

Patrick brings an enormous skillset that spans many disciplines, as well as over 6 years of experience working with teens and young adults with autism. Outside of his work at Spectrum Designs, Patrick is a member of both the internationally renowned NationSwell Council and the invite-only Young Entrepreneur Council (YEC). Patrick also oversees the running of all Spectrum’s enterprises; Spectrum Bakes and Spectrum Suds and serves on the boards of the Nicholas Center and New York Industries for the Disabled (NYSID).

Nicole Sugrue
Co-Founder & Executive Director, Nicholas Center
Co-Founder and Development Specialist, Spectrum Designs

Nicole is in charge of the day-to-day operations of the Nicholas Center. She ensures the organization is thriving, upholding its mission and achieving all of its goals and objectives. Nicole ensures operational integrity and quality services for all NC clients.

Stella Spanakos
Co-Founder & Director of Development, Nicholas Center
Co-Founder of Spectrum Designs

Stella is the heartbeat of the Nicholas Center’s Fundraising and Development Goals.  She assists in achieving all fundraising and development objectives while fostering critical relationships within the community.

Stephen Mackey
A gifted storyteller, dynamic public speaker and Telly-award winning producer and director, Stephen has a wide range of experience in all facets of creative multimedia production. Engaged internationally as a presenter, wine composer, audio engineer and event producer, his work has taken him to six continents with entertainers such as Matchbox20, Bon Jovi, Garth Brooks, Ted Nugent, Jars of Clay, Amy Grant, Tanya Tucker, Midnight Oil, and Julio Iglesias. From video production, scriptwriting, audio engineering, and production design, to software development, digital media product management, and executive technology and operations management, his wide range of experiences allow him to find the most unique elements of each story production.

Stephen is the co-founder—with wife Shannon—of Mesh Omnimedia, a creative agency with offices in Colorado Springs and Northern Virginia. He is also an internationally award-winning wine composer for Notaviva Vineyards, the world’s first winery to pair wine with music, also founded with wife Shannon. He has recently completed his first novel, “Dream. Build. Believe.” a memoir on the founding of their winery. He delights in family pursuits, enjoying any time he can find with their three young sons – from camping to music to sports to arts and crafts. Volunteering as a coach, cub scout den leader, lecturer, and community activist, his passion for creative media projects is surpassed only by his passion for his family and friends.