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Poll-Driven Messaging to Achieve Positive Change for People with Disabilities

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In the aftermath of one of the most divisive election cycles in recent memory, it may come as a surprise that there is a proven place for positive messages that will win hearts and minds on critical issues facing Americans.  Over the course of nearly a decade, RespectAbility has engaged in strategic public opinion research in order to advance opportunities and reduce stigma for people with disabilities.

Nearly 30 years from passing the ADA, research shows that pre-COVID, 70% of working age Americans (ages 18-64) with disabilities were out of the workforce, even though 71% say that they want to work.  And, these staggering figures have remained largely unchanged since the ADA.  While there are systemic policy and legislative challenges to advancing opportunities for people with disabilities, research consistently shows that whether it be “overt or unconscious bias,” stigma is the primary barrier.

Which begs the question, how do people with disabilities and those who care about them crush this barrier?

The short answer is positive, inclusive, hopeful messages supported by clear impactful facts that matter to a persuadable audience.

Join RespectAbility and pollster Meagan Buren of Buren Research & Communications for an in-depth review of messaging research on increasing opportunities for people with disabilities. Across many sectors from politics to philanthropy to religious institutions, positive messaging works!

Speaker Bios

Meagan Buren smiling headshotMeagan Buren, President of Buren Research and Communications, LLC, has a deep background in public opinion research, strategy, coaching, and press relations which is critical to helping clients achieve their goals. She is focused on clients facing messaging and communication challenges while they work to achieve their goals, better themselves, their communities, and world.

Previously she served as Senior Project Director for Luntz Global, a leader in corporate, political and non-profit public opinion research. There she led public opinion research to help shape the narrative and communications strategies for numerous Fortune 500 companies as well as non-profit clients.

Prior to joining Luntz Global, Buren worked for The Israel Project (TIP) almost from its inception. For TIP she managed focus groups, polling, dial testing, grassroots training, and media outreach in the US, Europe, Russia and the Arab world. Buren conducted interactive language and media training sessions for ambassadors, top-ranking public officials, professionals and leaders key to impacting Middle East security and peace. She initiated and led media tours of Middle East experts worldwide, including at two cycles of the Republican National Convention, Democratic National Convention and presidential primary and debate seasons. She has been interviewed on national and international television and radio and is gifted in strategic communications.

Buren holds a Masters in Communications, Culture and Technology from Georgetown University, a BA in International Studies Specifying in the Middle East, and a BA in Hebrew from The Ohio State University where she graduated Phi Beta Kappa. She is a member of the Columbus 11 class of the Wexner Heritage Program.

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.

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