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Summer 2017 Fellows standing or seated in wheelchairs, smiling and posing for the camera

Volunteer Sign Up

Thank you for your interest in volunteering with RespectAbility. We have several volunteer areas of interest available. Please let us know by completing the form below. You may choose as many as you would like.

  • Education & Skills Building Team works on projects to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for students with disabilities at the local, state and federal level. Given that only 65 percent of students with disabilities graduate high school, and only seven percent complete college, this is a high priority.
  • Jobs for People with Disabilities Team advances our ongoing efforts to promote disability employment through best practices. This work includes meeting with governors, workforce boards, agencies, employers and other leaders to expand best practices at the state level.
  • Stigma Reduction / Disability in Hollywood Team includes entertainment professionals who wish to ensure they and their colleagues are as inclusive of people with disabilities as possible while promoting positive, accurate, diverse and inclusive media portrayals in film, TV and theater. This team is largely made up by people working professionally in media or entertainment.
  • Intersection of Politics & Disability Team supports our respectful nonpartisan engagement with political candidates in key governor and other races during their respective elections. We reach out to candidates and campaigns to educate them on how to make their campaigns accessible, what policies are important to people with disabilities as well as ask them to complete candidate questionnaires. We distribute those answers in a nonpartisan way, largely in press releases and voter guides prior to the election. This work can only be done by people who are willing to be nonpartisan for the purpose of this project.
  • Inclusive Philanthropy/Nonprofits Team consists of disability inclusion experts and employees of foundations, philanthropic associations, individual philanthropists, and others involved in the nonprofit sector to advocate for full inclusion of people with disabilities in both the programs philanthropists and nonprofits support and within their organizations.
  • National Leadership Program Team recruits diverse talented young adults with and without disabilities who want to go into careers in public policy, advocacy and media while making a positive difference for people with disabilities.
  • Spanish-Language Resources Team helps RespectAbility develop, translate and distribute Spanish-language resources and materials for diverse families in communities across the country. It also works to build partnerships with organizations serving the Latino/Hispanic population in the United States.
  • Jewish Inclusion Team works to ensure that Jews with disabilities are able to fully gain access to agencies and synagogues so they can fully participate in their communities. Volunteers for this team should already be involved in the Jewish community at some level and have some disability and inclusion experience.

Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum
Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the communications director of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, and managing editor of The RespectAbility Report, a publication at the intersection of disability and politics. Previously she was a digital researcher with the NBC News political unit. Appelbaum currently oversees RespectAbility’s outreach to Hollywood to stand up against ableism and other prejudice – while promoting positive, accurate, diverse and inclusive media portrayals on TV and in film. To reach her, email

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Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.


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