- March 13, 2020
- March 13, 2020
"The SBDC has proven to be a genuine ally and a wonderful resource."
- Corey Axelrod, Owner
2axend, Chicago, IL
Corey Axelrod is well acquainted with the challenges and biases that people who are deaf and hard of hearing face; he himself is a member of that community. Even though cultural diversity and inclusion have become values that most businesses and organizations espouse, many of them are not properly equipped to reduce such barriers and create equitable and inclusive experiences for those who are deaf and hard of hearing. Corey Axelrod founded 2axend to help institutions and systems implement policies and practices that are responsive to the needs of that community. Through customized education, training and strategic planning consulting services, Corey helps organizations increase accessibility, cultural sensitivity, compliance with regulatory standards, and effectiveness. 2axend serves institutions from multiple industries especially the healthcare system.
Why did you choose to open your own business?
Growing up, I witnessed the many challenges and biases that individuals who are deaf and hard of hearing encounter. I witnessed this as my father, who was deaf, sought medical treatment for cancer. I also experienced it as I interacted with systems that were not equipped to communicate and have positive interactions me; I am also deaf. These experiences prompted me to launch 2axend- a company that trains and equips organizations across multiple sectors to increase accessibility and equitable experiences and develop a culture of inclusion for people who are deaf and hard of hearing. Our services also help organizations maintain compliance with professional and regulatory standards, reduce risks and liabilities, and increase effectiveness and overall consumer satisfaction.
To what do you attribute your success?
I wholeheartedly believe in 2axend’s mission and I am fully committed to making it come to pass. I am a strong supporter of equality, diversity and inclusion, especially on behalf of people who are deaf and hard of hearing. Many organizations embrace this philosophy but don’t know how to translate policies into practice and make sure that those practices become part of its corporate culture. My professional knowledge and personal insight equip me to help organizations achieve this goal.
If you had one piece of advice for someone just starting- What would it be?
Surround yourself with people who believe in you and your mission. Having that support is crucial for your success. I am grateful to have received the support of my father, grandmother and my wife Jennifer who is one of my biggest supporters and understands the value of my work. I am also grateful to my SBDC advisor at Harper. I have received Tom’s support for over a year now and he has proven to be a genuine ally and a wonderful resource. He helps me develop goals for the future and find solutions to current challenges.
Would you recommend small business owners use the services of the SBDC at Harper College? Why?
Absolutely; they offer great support and help you address many of your business’ needs. Small businesses often work with limited resources and I am glad that there is a place that can provide me with much of the knowledge and insight I needs to make my business succeed. They have helped me address issues with marketing, operations and sales, just to name a few and offer an outside perspective that helps me stay abreast of industry changes and consumer needs.