Washington, DC. RespectAbility, a non-profit organization working to empower Americans with disabilities to achieve the American Dream, is celebrating the first anniversary of its work to empower Jews with disabilities to be included in Jewish life.
Since its inception only one year ago, RespectAbility has worked to help Jewish groups become more inclusive communities. According to the U.S. Census, 18.6% of Americans have a disability. This includes 13% of public school children. Given that there are 5.3 million Jews in America, this means that there are at least 985,500 Jews with disabilities. However, as Jews carry genetic risks and on average have children later in life than any other demographic group it is likely that we have more disabilities per capita than others, including higher rates of Autism, mental health and other issues linked to parental age.