Spectrum Designs headquarters located at 366 Main St. (Photo from Spectrum Designs)

Autism Acceptance Month Kicks Off At Spectrum Designs

To celebrate the start of Autism Acceptance Month, Spectrum Designs hosted an open house on Monday, April 1.

Spectrum Designs is a custom apparel and promotional products business based in Port Washington. Spectrum Designs also works to create meaningful and inclusive employment and vocational training opportunities for people in a neurodiverse world.

To highlight the company’s commitment to providing job opportunities for adults on the autism spectrum, Spectrum Designs opened its doors to the community. Spectrum Designs had a record turnout from the community at the open house.

“The incredible support from the community means a great deal to Spectrum Designs. It signifies a shared commitment to inclusion and the value of every individual,” said Co-Founder and CEO Patrick Bardsley. “The choice to be located on Main Street was intentional, to ensure visibility and integration of people with disabilities into the fabric of the community, and that same community has embraced us with open arms.”

According to Spectrum Designs, nearly 85 percent of adults on the autism spectrum are unemployed in the United States. For 13-plus years, Spectrum has been challenging the status quo and emerging as a model for inclusive business practices nationwide. Today, more than half of Spectrum’s 75 employees are on the spectrum.

Spectrum Designs produces thousands of custom designs and branded merchandise for companies such as Google, JP Morgan Chase, and most recently, Lady Gaga’s Born This Way Foundation, as well as dozens of local, regional and national organizations of all sizes.

In addition, the open house provided the community with the opportunity to see the Spectrum Designs’ team’s talents and celebrate a record $5.5 million in sales last year.

Spectrum Designs’ open house included Patrick Bardsley, co-founder & CEO; Marissa Borzykowski, Chief of Staff; Tim Howe, chief operating officer; Kelli Fisher, marketing and development specialist and Anne Marie Kelly, Kelli Fisher’s mother.

Former Spectrum Designs employee Joshua Mirsky attended the open house to join for the raising of the neurodiversity flag, which he designed. In May of 2023, Spectrum Designs raised the new neurodiversity flag at their headquarters in Port Washington. Mirsky created the flag to serve as a symbol of acceptance and inclusion for people on the autism spectrum and other neurological differences.

Attendees received an exclusive tour of Spectrum’s facilities, witnessed the talented team in action, and saw the innovative environment where inclusivity and neurodiversity drive success.

There are large screen printing machines, embroidery systems, and heat-transfer presses where the pieces are created. Spectrum Designs offers t-shirts, water bottles, towels, hats, frisbees and anything else a logo can be printed on.

Jobs can range from folding shirts and packaging boxes to coordinating shipments with shipping companies to working the intricate machines to create items. Individuals on the autism spectrum are placed into a job that suits their strengths and abilities.

Along with celebrating Autism Acceptance Month and celebrating Spectrum Designs’ accomplishments, Spectrum unveiled a rebrand that included a new marketing campaign and TV commercial inspired by Kelli Fisher, a Spectrum Designs employee.

According to Spectrum Designs, “Fisher, an employee diagnosed with autism spectrum disorder, inspired the campaign and played a key role in developing the campaign materials. She also takes center stage in Spectrum’s forthcoming TV commercial. Like many in her community, Kelli faced difficulties securing employment after graduating from college. Now, Kelli is eager to share her story of empowerment and success.”

“This year marks a pivotal moment for Spectrum Designs as we embark on our “Out of the Box” campaign. This initiative directly confronts the stigma surrounding autism, shedding light on how society tends to generalize individuals on the autism spectrum, overlooking their unique identities,” said Bardsley. “What makes this campaign particularly significant is that it was born out of a group that included neurodiverse minds. By valuing their perspectives and contributions, we’ve created something truly impactful. It serves as a powerful reminder of the potential that lies within each individual, regardless of any preconceived labels or diagnoses.”

“Through this collaborative process, we arrived at our new tagline, “The best things can be done.” This succinct yet powerful phrase encapsulates the ethos of Spectrum Designs, affirming what we’ve believed in for over 13 years,” said Bardsley.
To learn more about Spectrum Designs, visit

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