Dining in the Dark at the Georgia Aquarium

Dining in the Dark at the Aquarium

Salesforce Proudly Presents a Gala Fundraiser for the

Blind Institute of Technology logo

Friday, March 18, 2022, 6PM – 11PM

Salesforce proudly presents the Blind Institute of Technology’s Dining In The Dark Fundraising Gala at The Georgia Aquarium.  BIT is a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization providing workplace development and inclusive employment solutions for individuals with disabilities.  BIT helps ready individuals with disabilities for success in the workplace as well as aids the employers who hire them! 

Michael Patellis, VP of Corporate Development for BIT is excited to bring BIT’s Dining In The Dark Annual Fundraiser to Atlanta to help us significantly reduce the severe unemployment and underemployment rates of people with disabilities in the state of Georgia. Please join us in the Oceans Ballroom at the Georgia Aquarium for a night of fun!

The Facts

  • Current unemployment rate of people with disabilities is 81%.
  • 21.5 million American adults, age 18 and older are blind or visually impaired.
  • Annually the government spends over $4 billion of taxpayer money to support unemployed visually impaired Americans.
  • Nearly one in five visually impaired Americans live at or below the poverty level and only 19% are currently employed.
  • Among all demographics, unemployment and underemployment rates are among the highest for people with disabilities especially when considering qualifications.

The facts speak for themselves and this is why we do what we do every day.  Our team recruits candidates with disabilities from universities, vocational rehabilitation centers, disability-focused forums and events, and social media. Our career development services include interactive workshops, resume writing, interview training, and specific skill training. Our BIT Academy focuses on official certifications for careers at companies such as Salesforce, Cisco, Amazon, and companies within their ecosystems.  At a minimum, we guarantee each candidate who completes a course from the BIT Academy a paid internship with the ultimate goal of placement in a full-time employment role.  Candidates we place earn a median salary of $72,000.00 per year which is 40% higher than the U.S. average household income of $50,740 per year.  At the same time, we work closely with our corporate partners to increase awareness and education on the value of hiring individuals with disabilities.    

How You Can Help

BIT’s services are 100% complimentary to all of our candidates. Even after we place our candidates in meaningful careers we continue to mentor and provide career guidance to them. Upon successful completion of the BIT Academy courses, we work closely with the candidate and our corporate partners to identify the perfect fit for mutual success on both the candidate and corporate sides. On average we invest about $5,400 in each candidate that completes our BIT Academy courses. For 2022, our goal is to have at least 100 candidates complete the BIT Academy’s skill-up courses to then place them on a life-changing meaningful career path.

All the money raised at the Dining In The Dark Gala will go directly to maximizing the number of candidates that participate in the BIT Academy. Below you can see just a very small handful of lives we have changed forever by empowering individuals with disabilities and placing them in the professional workforce. Please help us achieve our goal by joining us at the Dining In The Dark Gala for a seated dinner, live auction, and entertainment while being surrounded by the breathtaking views of the Ocean’s Ballroom at the Georgia Aquarium.

Does our approach work?  YES!

Contact Michael Patellis. (678) 429-5539 or E-mail.