Chamber of Commerce for Persons with Disabilities, Inc.

About the Chamber


Mission Statement and Story of the Chamber


To promote the business interests of businesses run by persons with disabilities and/or their direct caregivers (“Disability Businesses”) and to place businesses run by persons with disabilities on a level playing field with businesses run by others.


For all Disability Businesses to be successful and for such businesses that are run by persons with disabilities to be treated by consumers in the same manner as businesses run by persons with no disabilities.

Strategic Plan:

  1. Improve the Chamber membership’s geographic representation throughout Florida and the rest of the Southeast.
    • Establish strategic alliances with organizations that can help find members.
  2. Grow Chamber membership.
    • Understand the needs of Disability Businesses.
    • Focus on the recruitment of members.
  3. Membership retention based on value delivered to members.
    • Offer health insurance and other member benefits.
    • Market Disability Businesses to each other.
    • Educate members through newsletters, blogs, and webinars.
    • Offer resources to start businesses, including advertising opportunities and available financing.
  4. Place Disability Businesses run by persons with disabilities on a level playing field with businesses run by others.
    • Convince businesses and other consumers that businesses run by persons with disabilities can provide goods and services equal quality to businesses run by others.
    • Establish a nationwide network of organizations with similar missions to the Chamber’s mission to provide power in numbers.
    • Convince the Federal government to include businesses run by persons with disabilities as disadvantaged business enterprises.
    • Work to improve the Ticket-to-Work program and other similar programs.
  5. Staff the Chamber with the proper paid employees and volunteer employees to satisfy the other provisions of the strategic plan.
    • Locate persons who have expertise and a passion to help this organization achieve its mission.
    • Obtain grants to pay for the employment of qualified individuals who are disabled.
    • Offer incentives to persons who obtain funds.
    • Prepare an appropriate employment manual.
  6. Obtain funds sufficient to satisfy the other provisions of the strategic plan.
    • Obtain funds from government and non-profits
    • Continue to sign-up sponsors.
    • Continue to sign-up paying members.
    • Perform services for funds
  7. Seek feedback from members and implement appropriate ideas.

Member Benefits

The Chamber provides or will provide the following benefits:

  1. Promotion of Disability Businesses for internal sales among Chamber Members and for sales to the general public. To increase membership and sales to the general public, the Chamber is implementing a grass roots campaign and a public relations campaign.
  2. Promotion of Support Organizations by listing these organizations on this website and promoting the list.
  3. Provision of media for Members to exchange expertise and ideas with one another.
  4. Provision of resources for Disability Businesses to form and grow. These resources will include advice through newsletters and blogs on various areas, including law (e.g., corporate law, tax law, and labor law matters), finance, management, and marketing. The resources will also include information with respect to disabilities. In addition, the Chamber will offer a network of expert organizations that can help Members, both with respect to business issues (e.g., formation of a Disability Business) and disability issues.

Management and Board of Directors

The Chamber plans to hire a staff, including an Executive Director. Currently, the Chamber is operated by its Board of Directors, led by its Chairman, Peter Schoemann. All directors are volunteers who receive no compensation for their services.

Chairman: Peter Schoemann, Esq.

Photo of Peter SchoemannPeter Schoemann has strong ties to the disability community. Mr. Schoemann has four children (two daughters and two sons), of which both sons have autism along with kidney disease that will eventually result in complete kidney failure and the need for kidney transplantation. Mr. Schoemann currently serves as Vice-Chairman of the Board and Chair of the Finance Committee for the Advocacy Center for Persons with Disabilities, Inc. This Florida instrumentality is devoted to the protection and advocacy of all persons with disabilities in the state of Florida. In addition , Mr. Schoemann serves as a director of the Center for Independent Living in Central Florida.

In addition to his ties to the disability community, Mr. Schoemann has an extensive business background. He received a B.S. and a Masters degree in Accounting, a Juris Doctor, and an LLM in Taxation, all from the University of Florida. Mr. Schoemann became a Florida CPA in 1994 and a member of the Florida Bar in 1995. Upon completing his education, Mr. Schoemann served as an attorney advisor for the Honorable Carolyn P. Chiechi of the United States Tax Court in Washington, D.C. Since then, he has worked as a corporate and tax attorney, focusing on such areas as business formation, mergers and acquisitions, tax-exempt organizations, and public finance. In addition, Mr. Schoemann is the Manager and creator of a family publishing business. Recently, Mr. Schoemann was named to the top forty under forty by the Orlando Business Journal.

Remaining Directors (in alphabetical order):


Aren’t there organizations that help disabled persons form businesses?

Two such organizations are Griffin-Hammis Associates (a Chamber member) and The Abilities Fund which helps provide assistance to the Chamber.

Won’t it be difficult to organize a national network of disability businesses?

Yes, it will be, but the Chamber is needed. Various regions and groups use Chambers of Commerce to network and obtain resources. The Chamber plans to provide that for disabled persons in the southeast and to coordinate with Chambers of other regions. We are using both grass roots efforts and a public relations campaign to raise awareness of the Chamber’s existence and of the benefits provided by the Chamber.

Is the Chamber a 501(c)(3) organization for which donations are deductible?

No, The Chamber is a 501(c) (6). Accordingly, donations are not deductible as charitable contributions. Membership fees, sponsorships, and other payments to the Chamber may be deductible as a business expenses. However, please check with your tax advisor regarding the deductibility of such payments.

How does the Chamber fund its operations?

At this time, most of the Chamber’s operations are funded thru in-kind contributions. The Chambers also funds its operations through Support Organization Memberships, advertising and sponsorships. In addition, the Chamber is actively seeking grants. If you are interested in supporting the Chamber, please contact us.

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