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Webinar: How to Recruit, Accommodate and Promote People with Disabilities

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Emily Harris, 
Principal, Harris Strategies
Risa Jaz Rifkind, Director, Civic Engagement and Marketing, ADA 25 Advancing Leadership
Moderated by Randall Duchesneau, Board of Advisors, RespectAbility

More than 1 in 5 people in the US report having a disability. Yet, people with disabilities are underrepresented in key civic leadership positions. For example, only one percent of the Chicago region’s nonprofit board seats are filled by people with disabilities. A large percentage of nonprofits RespectAbility surveyed agree that the best way to ensure inclusion of all identities in programming, people with lived experiences must have a seat at the table. As a natural part of the human experience, disability is part of any diversity commitment. This session is for nonprofit professionals engaged with both board and volunteer relations and HR management to start the journey from recruiting to promoting people with disabilities starting with volunteer positions of leadership including board members.

About Our Speakers

Emily Harris smiling in front of a treeEmily Harris is Principal of Harris Strategies, LLC, helping non-profit organizations, philanthropy, and public agencies move their ideas to action. The founding Executive Director of ADA 25 Advancing Leadership, she developed the nation’s first disability civic leadership program.  Her non-profit leadership experience has focused on urban planning, regional economic growth, open space conservation, early childhood education, and civic engagement. Emily earned a B.A. from Oberlin College and an M.A. from the University of Chicago. She serves on the Forest Preserves of Cook County Conservation and Policy Council, the Leadership Greater Chicago Fellows Association Board and the CMAP Economic Development Committee.

Risa Jaz Rifkind oversees Advancing Leadership’s Civic Risa Jaz Rifkind smiling headshotConnections Project by engaging with Members and partners to identify opportunities for Members to lead with power and influence. She leads Advancing Leadership’s external and internal marketing, communications, and outreach. Previously, Risa was Program Manager at the Chicago Community Trust and managed disability inclusion initiatives including the Disabilities Fund and ADA 25 Advancing Leadership. Risa is passionate about the arts and serves as the Co-Chair of the Steering Committee for the Chicago Cultural Accessibility Consortium as well as on its Board of Directors as Treasurer. Risa also serves on the Accessible Airports Advisory Committee for the City of Chicago and the Access Advisory Committee for the Chicago History Museum. Risa received a B.A. from Johns Hopkins University.

Randall Duchesneau smiling and wearing a black suit, blue shirt, and black and white checkered tie and glasses color photoRandall Duchesneau is a consultant that provides clients with real estate investment and transactional advisory services. He also is a founding member of the United Spinal Association Greater Philadelphia Chapter, and is a C5-C6 quadriplegic from a spinal cord injury during gymnastics. Duchesneau has an undergraduate degree from Cornell, a Masters of Public Health from Yale, and has advocated for legislation on behalf of disability organizations. Read more about Randall Duchesneau.

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

Eric Ascher

Eric Ascher is the Communications Associate for RespectAbility. He is responsible for supporting RespectAbility’s Vice President, Communications in developing and implementing advocacy efforts and communications of various types. Ascher manages RespectAbility’s social media channels, website and emails; organizes and develops webinars; and supervises Communications Fellows.

2 comments… add one
  • Donald Bramley Apr 3, 2021, 12:43 am

    Hello Eric, RespectAbility , is an oasis for vital sources of information for me and my LGBTQ+ brothers and sisters , gender respected . My heartfelt Love for the tireless Work you provide to benefit our community . I had no choice but to discontinue having Home Health caregivers service my issues. Diabetics Neuropathy in my arms and some in the legs. I’m now a resident in a very nice Assistance Living facility in Corvallis , Oregon. The policy is an inclusive one Welcoming all sexual orientations . It is especially comforting to be in a , caring place , where we can simply live a plutonic life with everyone. For a man of 83 , people say , I look and do well. Periodically , I use my Walker or Wheelchair .Next month will mark 1 year at “The Corvallis Caring Place” Things are going well. My Lobito is , fortunately , still with me . I don’t see me wanting a Duet , in these Dark Days . At the top of my agenda is to be SAFE, and hang loose , but still be Vigilance . Also in the meantime, I would , very much , like to be in a webinar group / audience or take in a social media channel .
    Wellness Wish,

  • Donald Bramley Apr 3, 2021, 12:55 am

    Again, I will say this website is an Oasis to the help of the LGBTQ+ Handicap / Disability among us.

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