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19 Philanthropy and Nonprofit Organizations Join Together to Advance Access for People with Disabilities

Including People with Disabilities in Nonprofits & Foundations Accessibility & Equity Webinar Series. Two separate photos of diverse people with disabilities smiling togetherRockville, MD, Oct. 17 – In an unprecedented new partnership, 19 philanthropic and nonprofit organizations have joined together to present a series of free online training sessions on the nuts and bolts of how to include people with disabilities. The series and partnership comes following the recent release of Disability in Philanthropy & Nonprofits: A Study on the Inclusion and Exclusion of the 1-in-5 People Who Live with a Disability and What You Can Do to Make Things Better,” which shows that while 75% of the sector wants to include people with disabilities, they don’t know how to do it.

Indeed, despite great intentions, the push for diversity, equity, access and inclusion in the field has not yet led to better outcomes for people with disabilities in our sector. Time and time again, organizations unintentionally discriminate against people with disabilities in their grant applications, programming, events, resources, websites and hiring practices.

“It’s all about getting the skills needed to ensure access, opportunity and equity for people with disabilities,” said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, president of RespectAbility, the nonprofit which convened the partnership and sessions. “Hence, the series was designed by people with disabilities themselves to specifically complement what people told us in the study that they want to learn, and where there are gaps in equity practices.” All eight sessions will be free and online, with live captioning. There will be absolutely no fundraising solicitation.

The eight training sessions are:

Learn more about each of these sessions at https://www.respectability.org/accessibility-webinars/

You may register for the entire series or individual webinars of interest to you at https://zoom.us/webinar/register/WN_8n2aNjSsR-eRNRDDaghQbQ

This series is being led by RespectAbility in partnership with leading thinkers around equity in the philanthropic and nonprofit space: BoardSourceThe California Wellness Foundation; Catalogue for Philanthropy, Greater Washington; Center for Disaster Philanthropy; Cerebral Palsy Foundation; The Chronicle of PhilanthropyThe Communications NetworkThe Divas With Disabilities Project; Exponent Philanthropy; Grantmakers Concerned with Immigrants and Refugees; Grantmakers in the Arts; Media Impact FundersNational Center on Disability and Journalism; National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy; National Council of NonprofitsThe New York Women’s FoundationThe Unfunded List; and Weingart Foundation.

Meet the Author

Lauren Appelbaum

Lauren Appelbaum is the VP, Communications and Entertainment & News Media, of RespectAbility, a nonprofit organization fighting stigmas and advancing opportunities so all people with disabilities can fully participate in every aspect of community. As an individual with an acquired nonvisible disability – Reflex Sympathetic Dystrophy – she works at the intersection of disability, employment, Hollywood and politics. She regularly conducts trainings on the why and how to be more inclusive and accessible for entertainment executives throughout the industry. Appelbaum partners with studios, production companies and writers’ rooms to create equitable and accessible opportunities to increase the number of people with lived disability experience throughout the overall story-telling process. These initiatives increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people on screen, leading to systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities. She has consulted on more than 100 TV episodes and films with A&E, Bunim-Murray Productions, NBCUniversal, Netflix, ViacomCBS, and The Walt Disney Company, among others. She represents RespectAbility on the CAA Full Story Initiative Advisory Council, Disney+ Content Advisory Council, MTV Entertainment Group Culture Code and Sundance Institute’s Allied Organization Initiative. She is the author of The Hollywood Disability Inclusion Toolkit and the creator of an innovative Lab Program for entertainment professionals with disabilities working in development, production and post-production. She is a recipient of the 2020 Roddenberry Foundation Impact Award for this Lab. To reach her, email LaurenA@RespectAbility.org.

5 comments… add one
  • Tamisha Williams Oct 22, 2019, 5:42 pm

    This is an incredible line up of webinars. My schedule doesn’t permit me to attend any of them and I’m wondering if there are already plans to record these sessions and make them available for purchase or to re-host them in the future. I’m so thrilled at the offering and hope I get the opportunity to engage in learning around these issues soon. Thank you for this offering. I’ll be sure to share.

    • Lauren Appelbaum Oct 23, 2019, 3:22 pm

      We will be recording all webinars and posting them on our website and via our social media. If you have a question for any of the speakers, feel free to submit them ahead of time and we can ask them during the webinar on your behalf. I hope you will enjoy watching the webinars (or reading the transcripts) when they are posted following each webinar.

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