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Past Events

Authentically Representing Mental Health On-Screen While Prioritizing It Off-Screen

Illustration of a person eating something out of a bowl while seated looking at a laptop on a table. Logos for Women in Film and RespectAbility. Text: “Speaker Series May 19 1 pm PT. Authentically representing Mental Health on-screen and prioritizing it off-screen”RespectAbility was thrilled to present this conversation in partnership with Women In Film to celebrate the second annual Mental Health Action Day. As the global conversation around mental health continues, finding effective resources and knowing how to get help remains a challenge. Convened by MTV Entertainment Group, Mental Health Action Day was created with an open-source model that has effectively united and galvanized brands, organizational leaders, and cultural leaders to seamlessly integrate the message and spirit into their existing branding and voice. In this panel conversation, we spoke with a variety of Film & TV professionals to discuss ways to accurately and authentically represent mental health on-screen, while also prioritizing your own mental health in an industry that hasn’t traditionally given folks the space to do so. [continue reading…]

Albert Einstein College of Medicine: Neurodiversity in Science and Medicine

Throughout the year, Albert Einstein College of Medicine’s office of diversity and inclusion hosts events aimed at expanding a vision of what it means to be a diverse community that is inclusive of all. This event was created in partnership with Einstein’s chapter of the American Academy of Developmental Medicine & Dentistry (AADMD) and RespectAbility, a diverse, disability-led nonprofit that works to create systemic change in how society views and values people with disabilities, and which advances policies and practices that empower people with disabilities to have a better future. Einstein AADMD student board members moderated this discussion. [continue reading…]

Representation of Disabilities in the Hebrew Bible

Attendees heard from CUNY Hunter College student Ariel Gold about how disabilities are represented in the Hebrew Bible. Following her short presentation, Ariel moderated a panel of four Jews with disabilities — Noa Etedgi, Peter Fox, Haley Moss and Lee Chernotsky — who shared their experiences and offered insights on how the Jewish community can become more inclusive and accessible to people with disabilities.

Co-sponsored by Stephen Wise Free Synagogue, RespectAbility, the Hunter College Jewish Studies Department, and ROSIES. [continue reading…]

From Compliance to Programmatic Accessibility: Best Practices for American Job Centers

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In the 8 years since the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act (WIOA) was passed into law, the American economy has profoundly changed. Major structural changes among industries, companies, and contractors have accelerated thanks to the COVID-19 pandemic and new economic policies from the Biden Administration. Throughout these tumultuous years, American Job Centers (AJCs) / America’s Job Centers of California (AJCCs) have been crucial for the delivery of workforce services to thousands of workers. As the labor force participation rate for workers with disabilities rapidly increases to historical highs, jobseekers with disabilities need supports and services that will meet their needs and help them earn an income. However, the working professionals at AJCs/AJCCs may not have received any formal training on disability etiquette, accessibility, assistive technology, or best practices.

This webinar offered a high-level overview of proven practices and lessons learned for serving jobseekers with disabilities through the workforce development system. Attendees learned from a subject matter expert who has collected simple, practical, and cost-effective solutions to help advance opportunities for jobseekers with disabilities. [continue reading…]

Overcoming Barriers and Work Disincentives Listening Session

Presented by United Spinal and RespectAbility

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More than 80 million people living in America depend on Medicaid or the Children’s Health Insurance Program (CHIP) for essential services. Looking at the challenge facing these Americans, leaders at the Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS) have recently released a Request for Information (RFI) to the public. This RFI is a tremendous opportunity for people with disabilities to directly weigh in and share their lived experiences accessing care or overcoming barriers to work.

United Spinal Association logoRespectAbility and United Spinal, two national disability organizations, joined forces to host a special listening session to solicit feedback, input, and ideas from the people most directly impacted by the work disincentives in Medicaid. Led by a panel of subject matter experts and self-advocates, this session guided the development and submission of public comments to CMS to help Medicaid better serve the disability community and improve opportunities for employment and success. [continue reading…]

Being Michelle: Exploring Criminal Justice and Trauma through a Deaf Lens

Presented in partnership with Thriving Roots Initiative and Cleveland International Film Festival

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This panel aimed to discuss in more depth some of the issues facing Deaf/disabled people in the criminal justice system as experienced by the protagonist in the feature length documentary film, Being Michelle. The panel brought together Deaf leaders and advocates as well as individuals who have experienced human rights abuses in the criminal justice system. [continue reading…]

Accessibility, Advocacy, Representation: How Philanthropy Can Step Up for the Disability Community

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One in four U.S. adults has some form of disability. Not only are most disabilities non-visible—issues like mental health, chronic illness, dyslexia, and ADHD—but many people choose not to disclose their disability in order to avoid stigma. Given the size of the disability community and its essential contributions to society, why is access still such an afterthought? What factors contribute to discrimination and ableism? And how can philanthropy help?

In this episode of Impact Audio, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Founder of RespectAbility, addresses these questions (and more). [continue reading…]

Success in the Workplace: Engaging People of All Abilities

Inclusion of people with disabilities in the workplace is not only good for the community – it’s also good for business! This event featured a conversation exploring the benefits of a diverse workforce with:

  • Jeremy Shapira, Chief Inclusion, Equity, and Diversity Officer at Giant Eagle, Inc.
  • Lee Chernotsky, Chief Encouragement Officer at ROSIES Foundation, a workforce development organization for people with diverse abilities
  • Moderator: Becky Johnson, Director of the Career Development Center at JFCS Pittsburgh, which strives to create a diverse regional workforce

Held in celebration of Jewish Disability Awareness, Acceptance, and Inclusion Month, this event was co-sponsored by the Jewish Federation of Greater Pittsburgh, RespectAbility, and Jewish Residential Services.

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