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Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality

by RespectAbility USA
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Enabling People with Disabilities to Have Equality
Gov. Larry Hogan at NGA Conference with our team
Gov. Larry Hogan at NGA Conference with our team

Dear Friends,

I cannot thank you enough for your earlier support! I’d like to update you on key progress for people with disabilities that YOU helped make possible! Keep in mind that fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities is not an overnight project. Still, major foundations are being laid. Since February we have achieved the following:

  • Increased employment for people with disabilities by identifying and promoting best practices for inclusive employment to all 50 state teams working on state unified/combined plans for implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Last summer, the federal government started to distribute $17 billion a year through WIOA to all 50 states to increase employment and job training opportunities. By educating government and workforce personnel working on employment creation programs about the disability issue, as well as effective ways to include people with disabilities (PwDs) in the workforce, we are expanding job opportunities for people with disabilities. To see our suggestions please go here: http://respectabilityusa.com/resources/for-policy-makers. We are pleased to report that the labor force participation rate (a fancy way of saying rate of jobs) for working-age people with disabilities has increased to 31 percent. Frankly, this is still a terrible number, but at least finally we are seeing consecutive months of employment growth for Americans with disabilities. This is a sign that the systems change efforts we are working on have started to have an effect. At the same time, however, much work still needs to be done. There is still a 45.5 percentage point gap in the labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities. If we can expand our work, we can work to dramatically improve this situation. We recently attended the National Governors Association conference, where we had high-level meetings with 15 governors and their staff. Fellows documented the meetings, and those pieces were published on www.TheRespectAbilityReport.org.

  • Raised public awareness of the abilities of people with disabilities (PwDs) through earned and paid media and constant promotion of positive images and stories that counter negative stereotypes. Our work includes identification of messaging and images that change perceptions, publication of articles and op-eds in national and local newspapers by well-known thought-leaders, and through helping to champion A&E’s reality show Born this Way, which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Series. This is the first time ever that a series starring a cast with disabilities has won an Emmy Award. The show just started its third season and has begun global syndication. RespectAbility has been involved in this show since the beginning, and a key part of it is to showcase people with disabilities who are in competitive integrated employment or who are becoming successful entrepreneurs. Indeed, (spoiler alert!) you will even see us in an upcoming episode!

  • Started building Communities of Practice in Hollywood and Long Beach. Moving forward, we aim to decrease stigma by organizing Communities of Practice in Long Beach, CA and in Hollywood. These communities involve stakeholders who care about people with disabilities (PwDs) – workforce organizations, employers, philanthropists, the media, Hollywood, the faith community, the healthcare industry and more. Working together, communities will work towards supporting PwDs in their local areas by increasing employment opportunities and access to opportunity and by decreasing stigma in the workforce and entertainment industry. In February we collaborated with Rep. Brad Sherman to host a tripartite event in California on inclusive philanthropy, the entertainment industry and workforce development. Each session was composed of local leaders who want to fight stigmas and advance opportunities for people with disabilities. The event was the beginning of conversations with leaders in philanthropy, entertainment and workforce around including people with disabilities in their work. This will serve as a model program for future Community of Practice initiatives. Our California contacts included more than 260 Hollywood leaders, 110 workforce contacts, and many self-advocates. Fully 125 leaders and activists attended the Hollywood and workforce sessions. In Long Beach specifically, we are just now starting to bring together stakeholders in order to enable people with disabilities in Long Beach to gain education, training and employment, while local employers will gain and retain talented workers.

  • Gained traction in terms of encouraging major philanthropists to think about adding disability to their work. With our encouragement and involvement and that of others, Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, is making sweeping and very positive changes to include disability in their work. The news made it into the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The breakthrough of the Ford Foundation could be a game changer for the disability community. It is one of the first major anti-poverty foundations to think about disability.

  • Expansion of our National Leadership Program to bring in more talented young leaders into the disability space. This program is for people with and without disabilities who are interested in careers in public policy, communications, media, faith-based inclusion, fundraising and the nonprofit sector. Since being founded in 2013, RespectAbility has had several dozen fellows go into employment and higher education. Excitingly, we now have several paid fellows, and a new fellowship director! This summer, we will have 15 amazing young leaders in the fellowship. This is the largest and most diverse cohort ever.

We are hard at work continuing and expanding these projects. However, it is worth noting that RespectAbility still is hampered by the fact that we are understaffed and under-resourced. We are eagerly reaching out to make new relationships with potential funders. We are deeply grateful for your earlier investment in our work. Please email me at jenniferm@respectabilityusa.org with any questions or comments that you may have. Thanks for your investment in our work – and for the other amazing work you are doing on so many fronts!

I hope that you will continue to invest in the ground-breaking work. Thank you for joining with us in creating a better future for people with disabilities!

Hollywood leaders at Media Access Awards
Hollywood leaders at Media Access Awards
With Born This Way cast
With Born This Way cast
Rep. Brad Sherman with Born This Way
Rep. Brad Sherman with Born This Way
Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month
Jewish Disability Awareness and Inclusion Month
Whitney Tome on diversity, equity and empowerment
Whitney Tome on diversity, equity and empowerment

Links:

RespectAbility Team with advocates Janie and Eddie
RespectAbility Team with advocates Janie and Eddie

Empowering People with Disabilities – February 2017
By Jennifer Laszlo-Mizrahi - President

RespectAbility team focuses on Keys to Success

Dear Friends,

I cannot thank you enough for your earlier support! Because you have invested in us, I’d like to update you on key progress on our employment and stigma-busting work – transformative work that YOU helped make possible! Keep in mind that solving the issues of stigma and employment is not an overnight project. Still, major foundations are being laid. Since November, we have achieved the following:


• Identified and promoted best practices for inclusive employment to all 50 state teams working on state unified and combined plans for implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). Last summer, the federal government started to distribute $17 billion a year through WIOA to all 50 states to increase employment and job training opportunities. By educating government and workforce personnel working on employment creation programs about the disability issue, as well as effective ways to include people with disabilities (PwDs) in the workforce, we are expanding job opportunities for people with disabilities. To see our suggestions please go here: http://respectabilityusa.com/resources/for-policy-makers. We are pleased to report that the labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities has increased to 31 percent. Frankly, this is still a terrible number, but at least finally we are seeing consecutive months of employment growth for Americans with disabilities. This is a sign that the systems change efforts we are working on have started to have an effect. At the same time, however, much work still needs to be done. There is still a 45.5 percentage point gap in the labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities. If we can expand our work, we can work to dramatically improve this situation.


• Raised public awareness of the abilities of people with disabilities (PwDs) through earned and paid media and constant promotion of positive images and stories that counter negative stereotypes. Our work includes identification of messaging and images that change perceptions, publication of articles and op-eds in national and local newspapers by well-known thought-leaders, PSA’s and helping to champion A&E’s reality show Born this Way, which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Series. This is the first time ever that a series starring a cast with disabilities has won an Emmy Award. The show has been renewed for a third season, which also means that the series has started global syndication. RespectAbility has been involved in this show since the beginning, and a key part of it is to showcase people with disabilities who are in competitive integrated employment or who are becoming successful entrepreneurs.


• Started building Communities of Practice. Moving forward, we aim to decrease stigma by organizing Communities of Practice in New York City and Los Angeles. These communities are stakeholders who care about people with disabilities (PwDs) – workforce organizations, employers, philanthropists, the media, Hollywood, the faith community, the healthcare industry and more. Working together, communities will work towards supporting PwDs in their local areas by increasing employment opportunities and access to opportunity and by decreasing stigma in the workforce and entertainment industry. Our first gathering of NYC philanthropists happened last month, and we are convening LA philanthropists, workforce professionals and Hollywood professionals next week for the first meeting there.

• Gained traction in terms of encouraging major philanthropists to think about adding disability to their work. With our encouragement and involvement and that of others, Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, is making sweeping and very public changes to include disability in their work. The news made it into the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The breakthrough of the Ford Foundation could be a game changer for the disability community. It is one of the first major anti-poverty foundations to think about disability. Excitingly, we received support from the Ford Foundation for our National Leadership Program. With their support, we have paid fellows and a new fellowship director!

We are hard at work continuing and expanding these projects. However, it is worth noting that RespectAbility still is hampered by the fact that we are understaffed and under-resourced. We are eagerly reaching out to make new relationships with potential funders. We are deeply grateful for your earlier investment in our work. Please email me at JenniferM@RespectAbilityUSA.org with any questions or comments that you may have. Thanks for your investment in our work – and for the other amazing work you are doing on so many fronts!




• Check us out  RespectAbility!

Rodney Hood from JPMorgan Chase with team
Rodney Hood from JPMorgan Chase with team
Steve Bartlett, co-author of the ADA, with team
Steve Bartlett, co-author of the ADA, with team
Rep. Tony Coehlo, co-author of the ADA, with team
Rep. Tony Coehlo, co-author of the ADA, with team
Calvin Harris, Bipartisan Policy Center, with team
Calvin Harris, Bipartisan Policy Center, with team
Advocates Eddie Ellis and Janie Jeffers w/ team
Advocates Eddie Ellis and Janie Jeffers w/ team

Dear friends,

I cannot thank you enough for your earlier support! Because you have invested in us, I’d like to update you on key progress on our employment and stigma-busting work – transformative work that helps people with disabilities every day, and that YOU helped make possible! Keep in mind that solving the issues of stigma and employment is not an overnight project. Still, major foundations are being laid. Since August, we have achieved the following:

  • Identified and promoted best practices for inclusive employment to all 50 teams working on state unified and combined plans for implementation of the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA). This summer, the federal government started to distribute $17 billion a year through WIOA to all 50 states to increase employment and job training opportunities. By educating government and workforce personnel working on employment creation programs about the disability issue, as well as effective ways to include people with disabilities (PwDs) in the workforce, we are dramatically limiting the extension of failed policies that have been so prevalent and so damaging during the past years and seeing them replaced with best practices. To see our suggestions please go here: http://respectabilityusa.com/resources/for-policy-makers. We are pleased to report that the labor force participation rate for working-age people with disabilities has increased ever so slightly to 31 percent. This is still a terrible number, but at least finally we are seeing six consecutive months of employment growth for Americans with disabilities. This is a sign that the systems change efforts we are working on have started to have an effect. At the same time, however, much work still needs to be done. There is still a 45.5 percentage point gap in the labor force participation rates between people with and without disabilities. If we can expand our work, we can work to dramatically improve this situation. 
  • Asked candidates for president, governor and U.S. Senate 17 questions ranging from topics of employment and housing to education, healthcare and more. Six presidential candidates including former Democratic nominee Hillary Clinton, as well as 40 down-ballot candidates, including 26 for Senate and 11 for governor, from both sides of the aisle (27 Democrats, 18 Republicans, 1 Green Party) responded, showing that disability rights is a nonpartisan issue. Fully 11 senatorial or gubernatorial candidates who made disability issues a priority won! The responses were geographically diverse, coming from states all around the country as politicians are paying more and more attention to the disability community. This was the first time down-ballot candidates were asked to complete a questionnaire about disability-related issues on such a wide scale. View all of their responses here: Down Ballot Candidates who Support Opportunities for People with Disabilities Win Big. Utilizing candidate responses to both the down-ballot and presidential campaign questionnaires, RespectAbility fellows compiled the candidates' responses and created 51 state voter guides. They also packaged stories by topic. Each piece was edited by an experienced reporter and editor. 
  • Raised public awareness of the abilities of PwDs through earned and paid media and constant promotion of positive images and stories that counter negative stereotypes. Our work includes identification of messaging and images that change perceptions, publication of articles and op-eds in national and local newspapers by well-known thought-leaders, PSA’s and helping to champion A&E’s reality show Born this Way, which won an Emmy Award for Outstanding Unstructured Reality Series. This is the first time ever that a series starring a cast with disabilities has won an Emmy Award. The show has been renewed for a third season, which also means that the series will be available for global syndication. RespectAbility has been involved in this show since the beginning, and a key part of it is to showcase people with disabilities who are in competitive integrated employment or who are becoming successful entrepreneurs.
  • Gained traction in terms of encouraging major philanthropists to think about adding disability to their work.With our encouragement and involvement, Darren Walker, the president of the Ford Foundation, is making sweeping and very public changes to include disability in their work. The news made it into the Chronicle of Philanthropy. The breakthrough of the Ford Foundation could be a game changer for the disability community. It is one of the first major anti-poverty foundations to think about disability. We have identified 52 major foundations/funders who invest in workforce and poverty issues who have yet to add the disability lens to their work and started a systematic campaign to engage them in inclusion and best practices. 

We are hard at work continuing and expanding these projects. However, it is worth noting that RespectAbility still is hampered by the fact that we are understaffed and under-resourced. We are eagerly reaching out to make new relationships with potential funders. We are deeply grateful for your earlier faith in our work. Please email JenniferM@RespectAbilityUSA.org with any questions or comments that you may have. Thanks for your investment in our work – and for the other amazing work you are doing on so many fronts!

RespectAbility with advocates Janie and Eddie
RespectAbility with advocates Janie and Eddie
Rep. Bartlett with our Team
Rep. Bartlett with our Team
Rodney from JPMorgan Chase with our Team
Rodney from JPMorgan Chase with our Team
Rep. Coelho with our Team
Rep. Coelho with our Team
Calvin from Bipartisan Policy Center and team
Calvin from Bipartisan Policy Center and team

Links:

Maria from the White House with our Team
Maria from the White House with our Team

Dear friends,

I cannot thank you enough for your earlier support! Because you have invested in us, I’d like to update you on key progress on our employment and stigma-busting work – transformative work that YOU helped make possible. Keep in mind that solving the issues of stigma and employment is not an overnight project. Still, major foundations are being laid. Since May, we have achieved the following:

  • Released a white paper on the intersectionality of the criminal justice system and people with disabilities at an event with stakeholders on Capitol Hill. The report – entitled Disability and Criminal Justice Reform: Keys to Success – as well as the recording of the event, is found here: http://respectabilityusa.com/new-report-shows-750000-people-with-disabilities-behind-bars/ 
  • Identified and promoted best practices for inclusive employment to all 50 teams working on state unified and combined plans for implementation of WIOA. This summer, the federal government started to distribute $17 billion a year through WIOA to all 50 states to increase employment and job training opportunities.[1] By educating government and workforce personnel working on employment creation programs about the disability issue, as well as effective ways to include people with disabilities (PwDs) in the workforce, we are dramatically limiting the extension of failed policies that have been so prevalent and so damaging during the past years and seeing them replaced with best practices. To see our suggestions please go here: http://respectabilityusa.com/resources/for-policy-makers
  • Identified companies that practice inclusive employment and promoted these examples and their bottom line benefits to other companies across America. Several national companies including EY, AT&T, and Comcast are recognizing the unique talents of PwDs and the benefits they bring to the table as employees. Our work through an online campaign #RespectTheAbility helps leverage market forces to increase well-paying employment opportunities for PwDs.
  • Raised public awareness of the abilities of PwDs through earned and paid media and constant promotion of positive images and stories that counter negative stereotypes. Our work includes identification of messaging and images that change perceptions, publication of articles and op-eds in national and local newspapers by well-known thought-leaders, PSA’s and helping to champion A&E’s reality show Born this Way, which recently began its second season.
  • Reaching out on issues of voter access as well as directly to presidential candidates about jobs for PwDs. We have raised issues of accessibility in campaign websites, social media, ads, and live events. We have also spoken with 100 percent of the presidential candidates in a non-partisan way about these issues and covered their answers at www.TheRespectAbilityReport.org. Candidates also answered our substantive questions about public policy in our candidate questionnaires. We hosted a summit on August 8th on Capitol Hill about the importance of voters with disabilities, which was aired live on C-SPAN 2.

We are hard at work continuing and expanding these projects. However, it is worth noting that RespectAbility still is hampered by the fact that we are understaffed and under-resourced. We are eagerly reaching out to make new relationships with potential funders. We are deeply grateful for your earlier faith in our work. Please email JenniferM@RespectAbilityUSA.org with any questions or comments that you may have. Thanks for your investment in our work – and for the other amazing work you are doing on so many fronts!

RespectAbility with advocates Janie and Eddie
RespectAbility with advocates Janie and Eddie
Rep. Bartlett with our Team
Rep. Bartlett with our Team
Rodney from JPMorgan Chase with our Team
Rodney from JPMorgan Chase with our Team
Rep. Coelho with our Team
Rep. Coelho with our Team
Calvin from Bipartisan Policy Center and team
Calvin from Bipartisan Policy Center and team

Links:

Our team with Heidi Nel of Picture Motion
Our team with Heidi Nel of Picture Motion

Dear friends,

I cannot thank you enough for your earlier support! Because you have invested in us, I’d like to update you on key progress on our employment and stigma-busting work – transformative work that YOU helped make possible. Keep in mind that solving the issues of stigma and employment is not an overnight project. Still, major foundations are being laid. Since last November, we have achieved the following:

  • Identified and promoted best practices for inclusive employment to all 50 teams working on state unified and combined plans for implementation of WIOA. In 2016, the federal government will start to distribute $17 billion a year through WIOA to all 50 states to increase employment and job training opportunities. By educating government and workforce personnel working on employment creation programs about the disability issue, as well as effective ways to include people with disabilities (PwDs) in the workforce, we are dramatically limiting the extension of failed policies that have been so prevalent and so damaging during the past years and seeing them replaced with best practices. To see our suggestions please go here: http://respectabilityusa.com/resources/for-policy-makers
  • Identified companies that practice inclusive employment and promoted these examples and their bottom line benefits to other companies across America. Several national companies including EY, AT&T, and Comcast are recognizing the unique talents of PwDs and the benefits they bring to the table as employees. Our work through an online campaign #RespectTheAbility helps leverage market forces to increase well-paying employment opportunities for PwDs.
  • Raised public awareness of the abilities of PwDs through earned and paid media and constant promotion of positive images and stories that counter negative stereotypes. Our work includes identification of messaging and images that change perceptions, publication of articles and op-eds in national and local newspapers by well-known thought-leaders, PSA’s and, most recently helping to champion A&E’s reality show Born this Way, which was recently renewed for a second season as it now tops 1 million viewers a week.
  • Reaching out on issues of voter access as well as directly to presidential candidates about jobs for PwDs. We have raised issues of accessibility in campaign websites, social media, ads, and live events. We have also spoken with 100 percent of the presidential candidates in a non-partisan way about these issues and covered their answers at www.TheRespectAbilityReport.org. Candidates also answered our substantive questions about public policy in our candidate questionnaires.

We are hard at work continuing and expanding these projects. However, it is worth noting that RespectAbility still is hampered by the fact that we are understaffed and under-resourced. We are eagerly reaching out to make new relationships with potential funders. We are deeply grateful for your earlier faith in our work. Please email JenniferM@RespectAbilityUSA.org with any questions or comments that you may have. Thanks for your investment in our work – and for the other amazing work you are doing on so many fronts!

Team members with Marco Rubio
Team members with Marco Rubio
Team members with Hillary Clinton
Team members with Hillary Clinton
Our team with RSA Commissioner Janet LaBreck
Our team with RSA Commissioner Janet LaBreck
Our team with Rebecca Cokley of NCD
Our team with Rebecca Cokley of NCD
Our team with Tony Coelho, a main sponsor of ADA
Our team with Tony Coelho, a main sponsor of ADA

Links:

 

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Organization Information

RespectAbility USA

Location: Rockville, MD - USA
Website:
Facebook: Facebook Page
Twitter: @Respect_Ability
Project Leader:
Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi
Rockville, MD United States
$21,936 raised of $25,000 goal
 
120 donations
$3,064 to go
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