Employment Development Director
Laura’s strong belief in the unlimited and largely untapped potential of each person with a different ability led her to co-found Mi Work Matters in 2018. She proudly serves as president of its board of directors as well as its Employment Development Director. In the Summer of 2018, she facilitated the employment of two young adults with Down syndrome at the Detroit Zoo; four at the Ann Arbor Hands-On Museum; one at a global consulting firm in Southfield. Currently, she and the Mi Work Matters team are preparing to open Anastasia and Katie's Coffee Shop & Cafe which will inclusively and competitively employ people with different abilities.
Laura Hathaway has been engaged with the special needs community since 2010 when she opened Warner's Corner Toys. Her on-line toy store is a unique and innovative resource for differently abled persons, their families, and their service providers. Her mission has always been to give differently abled kids "wings and a compass”. As a champion for the special needs community, Laura has been featured on television's A Wider World on PBS, Mitch Albom's Heart of Detroit and JoAnne Purtan's Mom's a Genius. She appeared on Live in the D with Chuck Gaidica and Tati Amare. She was also interviewed on radio's W4 Country, Fox 103.9, WJR's Ready, Set, Go...All Things Autism program and Jackie Balestra's South Bay Show.
Her public speaking engagements include the National Down Syndrome Society's 2018 and 2019 Adult Summits, Euro-Peds National Center for Intensive Pediatric Therapy, The Children's Center, and the Bloomfield Township Public Library's Adaptive Umbrella Workshop for librarians, teachers, and caregivers of youth with special needs.
For the last three years, Laura has organized the respite area during the Autism Alliance of Michigan's annual Autism Hero Walk. Further, she participated on the planning committee for a national Down Syndrome Affiliates in Action Conference. Locally, Laura planned and participated in a United Cerebral Palsy of Metro Detroit's Annual Life without Limits through Assistive Technology Conference and Expo. She has volunteered in numerous capacities for the Down Syndrome Guild of Southeast Michigan including as a Step Up for Down Syndrome Walk committee member, board member at large, and, most notably, board president.
Laura earned her Bachelor of Arts in Education from the University of Michigan in 1987. She lives in Oak Park, Michigan with Peter and Katie, her amazingly supportive husband and daughter, and their two dogs.