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Case Studies

Case Studies

Long Beach, California

Join us for a ground-breaking and inclusive journey toward better education, training and economic successes as a community works together to enable youth with disabilities to have a better future. Together, we will learn technical and programmatic insights to solve problems at scale.

Today there are more than 46,000 people with disabilities in Long Beach, California but fewer than 8,000 have jobs. There are other areas around the country where more than twice as many people with disabilities per capita are in the workforce – so we know success is possible. However, the question is: what can people in Long Beach do to achieve that success?

Long Beach is a beautiful city with a vibrant downtown, growing economic opportunities and a charismatic young Mayor who is deeply committed to serving his diverse city. There also are dedicated community leaders who are eager to improve outcomes for their friends, neighbors and family members with disabilities. RespectAbility will serve those local leaders by creating an innovative Community of Practice. Working together to create a national model of success, we will advance opportunities for the people and community of Long Beach, California.

Want to get involved? Contact Philip Kahn-Pauli, Policy and Practices Director, at for more information.


Hollywood, California

RespectAbility is working on changing the narrative in Hollywood to ensure accurate and positive cultural media portrayals of people with disabilities. RespectAbility currently is working with several partners within the entertainment industry on the full inclusion of people with disabilities, both in front and behind the camera, and we are looking for more partners to help move the needle on two core issues: inclusion and diversity in Hollywood and the employment of people with disabilities.

In February 2017, we held a webinar with several partners as part of the process of creating a Community of Practice to work on the closely connected issues of disability, diversity, inclusion, poverty and media. We followed that with in-person meetings in the Los Angeles area. Throughout the day, we hosted meetings of leaders in philanthropy, workforce development and entertainment industry who care about diversity, inclusion and employment in Hollywood for people with disabilities. There is great potential to gather committed stakeholders to form a Community of Practice on these issues.

As RespectAbility continues this work, the Community of Practice will expand so more people with disabilities are seen for the dignity and abilities that they have – and can contribute to their own independence and the community at large. Want to get involved? Contact Lauren Appelbaum, Vice President, Communications, at for more information.


New York, New York

RespectAbility is dedicated to advancing opportunities for people with disabilities through best practices, model programs and systems advocacy. Key to each of those priorities is understanding the gaps that exist between programs, providers and professionals in communities across the country. Now, we are pleased to announce a brand-new effort focused on New York City’s workforce system. Thanks to an investment from the New York Community Trust, RespectAbility will directly support workforce providers as they learn to better serve job seekers with disabilities.

In total, there are 460,425 working age people with disabilities living in New York City. But of that number, only 148,717 have jobs. That means that about only one in three people with disabilities in New York City have a job, are earning an income and becoming independent. Despite that more than one in ten New York City residents have a disability, people with disabilities make up only four percent of the city’s workforce. Likewise, more than one-third of New Yorkers with disabilities live in poverty.

New York City is a crucial lynch pin in our nation’s economy. The city has a vast population, a vibrant economy and hundreds of employers eager for talented workers. New Yorkers with disabilities deserve the opportunity to earn an income and achieve independence, just like anyone else. Workforce programs have a fundamental role in empowering job seekers, helping them to develop skills and facilitating connections to employers. Working together to create a national model of success, we will advance opportunities for the people and providers in New York City.

Want to get involved? Contact Philip Kahn-Pauli, Policy and Practices Director, at for more information.



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HQ: 11333 Woodglen Drive, #102, Rockville, MD 20852
West Coast: 350 S Bixel Street
Los Angeles CA 90017

Office Number: 202-517-6272


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