How My Calm World Creates Music to Calm and Empower
My Calm World is a curated selection of artistic creations with the purpose of helping individuals to calmness and peace. Their selection ranges from guided meditations and visual art to children’s bedtime stories all with the purpose of bringing people calm and joy. The duo behind My Calm World, Jeff Gold and Shanna Forrestall, are multi talented creative artists who produce music among other things. Their music is intended to be soothing and peaceful while also providing a platform for empowerment. This empowerment is achieved through My Calm World’s employment of youth on the autism spectrum. For many of the people they employ it is the first time in their lives that they are being paid to work.
Unemployment Among People with Disabilities
Unemployment and underemployment are very high amongst people with disabilities. In 2021 it was reported by the US Bureau of Labor Statistics that only 19.1% of people with a disability were employed. This was an increase from the previous year in which only 17.9% of people with disabilities were employed. These low statistics were in part caused by the coronavirus pandemic and its strongly negative impact on the economy and the job market. However even considering the impact of this factor there is still a considerable amount of people with disabilities who are unemployed.
63.7% of people without a disability were employed in 2021 and the unemployment rate for people without a disability was 5.1%. The unemployment rate for people with a disability was 10.1% which is almost twice as high. This is a demonstration of the difference in employment which people with disabilities face. While there are obvious hindrances to the employment of people with disabilities this should not stop employers from making their workplaces more accessible.
This is particularly true for people on the autism spectrum as they are marginalized by the traditional hiring process. People on the autism spectrum can struggle to fully present their talents and abilities in interviews as they can struggle with interpersonal skills and communication. Additionally, the work environment itself can be overstimulating for people on the autism spectrum and they may require certain accommodations to perform their best. These accommodations are well worth the reward as companies who have hired people on the autism spectrum have increased their productivity as a result.
Music, My Calm World and Empowerment
As stated, My Calm World employs people on the autism spectrum to be a part of their content production team. This provides employment to a highly underemployed segment of the population who have talents which they would be otherwise unable to share. This also provides them with work experience, pay and a portfolio of work which they can use to find further employment. They can also further develop their skills and hone their craft to provide them with personal and professional satisfaction. This also means that these individuals on the autism spectrum are able to launch their careers from the employment which My Calm World has provided to them.
My Calm World also provides mentorship to the young people which they employ to facilitate their growth and development as artists and as individuals. The benefits of this mentorship goes both ways as Shanna Forrestall has stated that she revels in the, “opportunity to validate their unique perspectives”. This in turn makes the, “storytelling team stronger and our stories more interesting and diverse”.
These benefits also extend to the music which My Calm World produces as it too is enriched with the unique perspectives which people on the autism spectrum provide. Their music is therefore more capable of providing a calming experience especially to those on the autism spectrum as it is developed in collaboration with people who can struggle to find calm in ordinary life.
There is a great degree of unemployment and underemployment among individuals with a disability. Many of these individuals have talents and skills which go unnoticed by the world at large. My Calm World combats this tremendous underemployment by employing and mentoring young people on the autism spectrum and making them part of the production process. This provides opportunities for these young people to launch their careers in the creative industry. On top of this My Calm World produces calming and relaxing music for any audience particularly those who would like to find some calm in today’s chaotic world.