Webcast Details

Archived Webcast Information

Photo of Lorraine Woodward

Lorraine Woodward

Photo of Bernadette Scarduzio

Bernadette Scarduzio

Photo of Linda Barnes

Linda Barnes

Photo of Ciara Ladroma

Ciara Ladroma

Women in Tech

Presented By:
Lorraine Woodward

Bernadette Scarduzio

Linda Barnes

Ciara Ladroma, Senior Associate, Griffin-Hammis Associates
July 18, 2024

Advanced technology and innovative solutions have allowed more people to participate and experience the beauty of traveling. In this session, we talk with Lorraine Woodward, the founder of Becoming rentABLE, and her influential impact on the world of tech as a woman. Becoming rentABLE is a collection of certified accessible short-term rentals in the U.S. and Canada. Bernadette Scarduzio, a Becoming rentABLE Ambassador, joins the conversation to share her perspective as a rental expert and her experience working with Linda Barnes. Linda is a Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor with the Office of Vocational Rehabilitation in Pennsylvania.

Learning Objectives:

Learn about the short-term rental industry and the importance of creating an online platform of certified accessible rentals for all travelers. Learn how the Department of Rehabilitation can support entrepreneurs and their teams to experience success in the workplace through personal and professional accommodations and assistive technology. Identify pathways and strategies to support aspiring entrepreneurs to enter the world of tech.

Presenter Bios:

Lorraine Woodward, entrepreneur, is the CEO and Founding Partner of Becoming rentABLE, where she guides the entire Becoming rentABLE team with creative ideas that positively impact the lives of people with disabilities and their families in the world of accessible short-term rentals. Lorraine is a full-time wheelchair user, having been diagnosed as a young child with limb-girdle muscular dystrophy. She is passionate about the world of accessible short-term rentals due to her experience as a mother of two children who also have muscular dystrophy and the difficulty her family has had finding accessible vacation destinations and short-term rental properties. Outside of work, Lorraine and her family enjoy eating tasty food and own two accessible short-term rental properties, the first of which was the inspiration for Becoming rentABLE.

Bernadette Scarduzio, Becoming RentABLE Ambassador, embarked on her career journey as a receptionist at Cuz N’ Company Salon and Spa, a cherished family business founded by her father, John. Transitioning to roles such as a teacher aide at Family Support Services and a Physical Therapist Aide at PT Plus, Bernadette found her passion for hands-on care. Alongside her educational pursuits at DCCC, she obtained certifications in Personal Training and Basic Nutrition from the National Personal Training Institute (NPTI) in 2003. Despite facing challenges due to Charcot-Marie-Tooth (CMT) disorder, Bernadette's resilience led her to become a certified Aqua Therapy Trainer and a Thermapool Ambassador, utilizing her Thermapool to provide aqua therapy sessions. Her commitment to accessibility and advocacy for the CMT community became prominent when she joined forces with the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation (HNF) in 2008. Bernadette's journey has been documented in the 2013 film "Bernadette," shedding light on her life with CMT. From speaking engagements at colleges along the East Coast to spearheading initiatives like making Brigantine, New Jersey, an accessible beach, Bernadette continues to champion the cause of CMT awareness and accessibility. Currently, she serves as an advocate for CMT, works with the Hereditary Neuropathy Foundation, and proudly represents Becoming RentABLE and ThermaPools as an ambassador. With unwavering dedication, Bernadette remains steadfast in her mission to raise awareness for CMT and foster a more inclusive world.

Linda Barnes, Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, OVR, has served individuals with disabilities in Pennsylvania in obtaining employment for over 15 years. She first worked as a Job Coach providing hands on job development, job training as well as program development for a small non-profit agency. She then started with the PA Office of Vocational Rehabilitation, working in Business Services- acting as a liaison to local businesses and the job seekers served by PA OVR. After completing her master's Degree in 2022, Linda moved into the role of Vocational Rehabilitation Counselor, where she has a general caseload of individuals residing in Delaware County, PA, and is the liaison for Project Reach, which is a grant project partnered with BIAPA serving inmates of State Correctional Institutes who have a history of Traumatic Brain Injury. Outside of work, Linda enjoys traveling and hanging out at home with her husband, 4 children, and dog, Ruby.

Ciara Ladroma, the facilitator, has served the employment and entrepreneurial industries for the last 12 years with a focus on serving people with disabilities, women, BIPOC, and LGBTQIA+ individuals. She has supported small business owners nationwide to create, launch, and grow their businesses. Ciara began her career in Supported Employment as an Employment Specialist and has since carried these unique skills and traits to all areas of her career. Previously serving as a Career Coach at Des Moines Area Community College and as the Director of the Iowa Women’s Business Center, Ciara has found ways to elevate communities by guiding people’s success through business ownership and career navigation. As an entrepreneur herself, she is able to take her own experiences and challenges to help others navigate their entrepreneurial hurdles. Ciara provides technical assistance and training on best practices regarding employment service delivery with a focus on Customized Employment and Self-Employment.