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Black and white photos of a man behind a monitor on a film set, a group of RespectAbility Lab alumni together at an event, a woman wearing a mask working on a computer, and a group of former RespectAbility Apprentices looking at a document together

About Us

RespectAbility fights stigmas and advances opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

Who We Are

RespectAbility is a diverse, disability-led nonprofit that works to create systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities, and that advances policies and practices that empower people with disabilities to have a better future. Our mission is to fight stigmas and advance opportunities so people with disabilities can fully participate in all aspects of community.

RespectAbility Staff and Fall 2022 Apprentices smile together on Zoom

RespectAbility Staff and Fall 2022 Apprentices

RespectAbility knows that most people with disabilities can and want to fully participate in – and contribute to – all aspects of society. RespectAbility shifts narratives and creates progress by centering people with lived disability experience in leadership roles, ensuring authentic representation in entertainment and news media, advancing successful public policy, and pushing for faith-based and other inclusion. The following are RespectAbility’s core programmatic areas:

  • Entertainment and News Media – Increase diverse and authentic representation of disabled people in media so people with disabilities are seen for what they can do, instead of what they cannot.
  • Leadership – Enable diverse people with disabilities to participate fully in decision-making.
  • Policy – Promote best practices in education, employment, entrepreneurship, civic engagement, and access.
  • Faith Inclusion and Belonging – Ensure the inclusion of people with disabilities in faith-based communities.

Theory of Change

The following represents RespectAbility’s theory of change, capturing how our core programmatic activities intersect to drive long-term impact.

Three intersecting circles with the three elements of RespectAbility's theory of change inside them. RespectAbility logo in the middle

Developing Leaders: We empower diverse people with disabilities to gain the training, skills, contacts and opportunities they need to have seats at decision-making tables.

Changing Attitudes: Increasing diverse and authentic representation of disabled people on screen, leading to systematic change in how society views and values people with disabilities.

Advancing Opportunities: We seek and promote best practices in education, employment, entrepreneurship, and civic engagement so people with disabilities can succeed, just like anyone else.

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Commitment to Equity & Accessibility

RespectAbility knows we are stronger and better when we are accepting, welcoming and respectful of all people. Since day one, RespectAbility had board-approved intentional diversity and equality policies. We are a “Nothing About Us Without Us” organization.

RespectAbility provides equal employment opportunities (EEO) to all employees and applicants for employment without regard to race, color, religion, gender, sexual orientation, gender identity or expression, national origin, age, disability, veteran status or genetics. In addition to federal law requirements, RespectAbility complies with applicable state and local laws governing nondiscrimination in employment. This policy applies to all terms and conditions of employment, including recruiting, hiring, placement, promotion, termination, layoff, recall, transfer, leaves of absence, compensation and training.

Headshots of 20 diverse RespectAbility Board Members in a grid.

RespectAbility Board Members

RespectAbility has a commitment to individual and organizational efforts to build respect, dignity, fairness, compassion, equality and self-esteem in order to create an environment that is inclusive of all throughout our organization and the disability community. We acknowledge and honor the fundamental value and dignity of all individuals. We pledge ourselves to creating and maintaining an environment that respects diverse traditions, heritages and experiences.

People with disabilities make up the largest minority group in the United States. In fact, one-in-five people in America has a disability, and this includes people from all genders, races, sexual orientations and other minorities. In addition, due to accident, aging or illness, disability can impact anyone at any time. RespectAbility believes all people with developmental, physical, sensory, mental health and other disabilities deserve to be able to achieve their hopes and dreams, just like anyone else.

Learn More: Diversity, Equity, Inclusion, and Accessibility

Financial and Other Reports

RespectAbility is recognized by GuideStar at the Platinum level for our inclusion, transparency and excellence. We have been recognized by Slingshot as an organization at the highest level. RespectAbility was recognized at the United Nations for innovation.

2022: Annual Report
2021: Annual Report – 990 FormAudited Financial Statement
2020: Annual Report – 990 FormAudited Financial Statement
2019: 990 FormAudited Financial Statement
2018: 990 FormAudited Financial Statement
2017: 990 FormAudited Financial Statement
2016: 990 FormAudited Financial Statement
2015: 990 FormAudited Financial Statement
2014: 990 Form
2013: 990 Form

Join Us

RespectAbility is looking for more volunteers and partners to end stigmas and enable people with disabilities to achieve success. We invite you to join us as we champion a better future for all of us.

If you would like more information about RespectAbility, email us at [email protected].

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Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.

Contact Us

Mailing Address:
43 Town & Country Drive
Suite 119-181
Fredericksburg, VA 22405

Office Number: 202-517-6272

Email: [email protected]

GuideStar Platinum

RespectAbility and The RespectAbility Report is a GuideStar Platinum Participant. GuideStar Platinum Participant Logo
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