Each achievement in the disability movement today is built upon the dreams, struggles, and triumphs of the past. Some of our greatest leaders, like Justin Dart and President George H.W. Bush, have died. Other visionary leaders, including Judith Heumann, Hon. Steve Bartlett (RespectAbility’s chairman), Hon. Tony Coelho, Sen. Tom Harkin, Hon. Lex Frieden and others who led the efforts to pass the Americans with Disabilities Act still are fighting the good fight and making a real difference. Our good work is built on the strong foundation laid by them and so many others.
Today, some of the strongest champions of disability rights in nonprofits come from allies who live with other marginalized identities and have risen to the top of philanthropy – Darren Walker and Noorain Khan at the Ford Foundation, Dr. Robert Ross, Mona Jhawar and Jose Plaza at California Endowment, Judy Belk and Tina Eshaghpour at California Wellness, Ana Oliveira and Grace Asenjo Tenenzaph at the New York Women’s Foundation, Fred Ali and Joanna Jackson at the Weingart Foundation and others. All of them have graciously supported our work and the shared vision of equity and opportunity for all.
Special thanks go to our pollster, Meagan Buren (Buren Communications), who also moderated the focus groups, which were done in partnership with Stephanie Powers of the Council on Foundations, as well as to our research and writing consultant, Amy Kramer, who wrote significant portions of this report. RespectAbility’s Franklin Anderson, Lauren Appelbaum, Matan Koch and Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi also contributed to the writing and editing of this study. Jonathan Fusfield ensured screen reader accessibility of this document.
Attorney and advocate Marcie Lipsett contributed significantly in the analysis of the online accessibility of the top 25 foundations and nonprofits. Victoria Grace Assokom-Siakam and Rachael Walloga conducted and transcribed many of the one-on-one interviews. The focus group guides, outlines for the one-on-one interviews, and survey were written jointly by Meagan Buren and Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi.
We want to express our deep gratitude to the people listed below, who are such inspirational leaders in philanthropy who provided substantive feedback and useful insights. Their ideas and energy have moved the discussion forward and many have given voice to millions of Americans with disabilities. Their inclusion in our acknowledgement does not constitute nor does it represent an endorsement, either personal or organizational, of our recommendations. The views expressed in this report are those of the authors. We share our gratitude to a long list of people for their participation, advice and leadership:
Ana Marie Argilagos (Hispanics in Philanthropy); Stephanie Bell-Rose (SteveFund.org); Harry Berman (Exponent Philanthropy); David Biemesderfer (United Philanthropy Forum); Julia Bieniek, Gillian Eigo, and Michael Thatcher (Charity Navigator); Phil Buchanan (Center Effective Philanthropy); Dan Cardinali (Independent Sector); Dallas Dishman (The David Geffen Foundation); Aaron Dorfman (National Committee for Responsive Philanthropy); Kathleen Enright and Stephanie Powers (Council on Foundations); Virginia Esposito (National Center for Family Philanthropy); Bridgit Evans and Katrina Olson (Pop Culture Collaborative); John Feather (Grantmakers in Aging); De’Amon Harges (Grassroots Grantmakers); Carly Hare (CHANGE Philanthropy); Emily Harris (Chicago Community Trust); Irfan Hasan and Rachel Pardoe (New York Community Trust); Judith Heumann (Ford Foundation); Nancy Jamison (San Diego Grantmakers); Elaine Katz (Kessler Foundation); Larry Kramer (Hewlett Foundation); Jasmine Marrow (Guidestar/Candid); Faith Mitchell (Grantmakers in Health); Ami Nagle (Economic Opportunity Funders); Tyler Norris (Well Being Trust); Kim Buckner Patton (Foundation Center); Ellen La Pointe and Phuong Quach (Northern California Grantmakers); Amy Rosenblatt Lui (Beverly Foundation); Jay Sanderson (Jewish Community Foundation Los Angeles); Dave Sheldon (Southern California Grantmakers); A. Sparks (Masto Foundation); Kerrien Suarez (ProInspire); Flor Tolley (Wells Fargo); Kristy Trautmann (FISA Foundation); Lisa Trygg (May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust); Kim Tucker (Impact Foundry); Jeff Ubois (MacArthur Foundation); Anne Wallestad (BoardSource); Center for Effective Philanthropy; and several people who helped us anonymously.
We also want to thank the following people, who have enabled us to succeed in our work with disability inclusion, advocacy and advancing employment and economic opportunities for people with disabilities:
Steven and Lisa Abramowitz, John Aglialoro, Joan and Sanford Alexander, Arlene Kaufman & Sanford Baklor, Jack Belz & Jan and Andrew Groveman (Belz Foundation), Beren Sea Foundation, John Bessonette, Bureau of Jewish Education, Linda and Andy Burger, California Wellness Foundation, The Coca-Cola Foundation, Inc., Shelley and Ruvan Cohen, Combined Jewish Philanthropies of Greater Boston, Inc., Lesley Cooper, The David Berg Foundation, Delman Mortenson Charitable Foundation, Einstein-Sim Family, Jennifer Fisher, Eliot Fishman, Cheri Fox, Michael and Linda Frieze, Sheri Gadberry (Memphis Jewish Federation and Jewish Foundation of Memphis), Marguerite Gleitman, Margo Sim Gleitman, Lawrence S. and Phyllis C. Goldberg, Daniel Goldsmith, Martin and Roberta Goldstein, Nancy Grossman-Samel, Susan and Jeffrey Harris (Saul Schottenstein Foundation), Tom and Kaitlyn Hayes, Harry and Jeanette Weinberg Foundation, Herb Block Foundation, Robert Horwitz, Joanne Hovis, Randi Jablin (Friedel Family Foundation), Dana and David A. Jacobsohn, MD, Harold Jacobsohn, JE & ZB Butler Foundation, Jewish Community Federation of Cleveland, Jewish Community Foundation of MetroWest NJ, Jewish Federation of Greater Philadelphia, Jewish Funders Network, Joseph and Harvey Meyerhoff Family Charitable Funds, JPMorgan Chase & Co, The Julius and Dorothy Lazarus Foundation, Inc., Faye Kimerling, Robert and Arlene Kogod, Joseph and Phyllis Korff, Andrew and Diane Lappin, John and Patricia Laszlo, Nancy Laszlo, Rebecca Laszlo and Sara Intriligator, The Levitt Foundation, Long Beach Community Foundation, Milbank Foundation, Linda Mirels, Victor Mizrahi, The New York Women’s Foundation, Robert Parker, Richard Phillips, Gary and Esther Polland, Harvey Reese, Jarrow Rogovin, Dr. Michael L. and Elizabeth F. Ross, Robert Ross (The California Endowment), Ruderman Family Foundation, Yisroel and Rivka Schulman, Schwartz Foundation, Joseph and Selma Sitrick, Yadelle Sklare and Family, Thomas “Doc” Sweitzer, Stanley Tate, Ann and Andrew Tisch, Rufus Toomey-Tieder, Lisa Trygg (May and Stanley Smith Charitable Trust), United Jewish Appeal – Federation of Jewish Philanthropies of New York, Inc., Lisa F. Wallack, Donn and Sharon Weinberg, Yechiam Yemini, Louis and Robin Zweig.
Additionally, RespectAbility would like to thank the Chronicle of Philanthropy, The Nonprofit Times, The New York Women’s Foundation, California Wellness Foundation, California Endowment, Southern California Grantmakers, Washington Regional Grantmakers Association, and others for sharing our survey with their constituents to expand our respondent size.
RespectAbility is a nonprofit organization that relies upon a strong team of boards, staff and supporters to move our work forward. In particular, we thank:
Our boards: Steve Bartlett (Chair), Vivian Bass (Executive Committee), Linda Burger (Treasurer), Olegario Cantos VII, Eleanor Clift, Shelley Cohen (Secretary), Judith Creed, Heidi Daroff, Randall Duchesneau, Andrew Egan, Gabrielle Einstein-Sim, Rick Guidotti, Calvin Harris, Neil Jacobson, Janie Jeffers, Evelyn Kelley, Janet LeBreck, Dana Marlowe, Donna Meltzer, Jennifer Mizrahi, Jonathan Murray, Aaron Orlofsky, Richard Phillips Jr., Vincenzo Piscopo, Gerard Robinson, Robert Schwartz, Jim Sinocchi, Dee Soder, Thomas Sweitzer, Donna Walton, Donn Weinberg (Founding Chair Emeritus), and Delbert Whetter.
Our staff and consulting team: Franklin Anderson, Lauren Appelbaum, Eric Ascher, Victoria Grace Assokom-Siakam, Candace Cable, Debbie Fink, Stan Goldman, Rebecca Gross, Elizabeth Jones, Tatiana Lee, Matan Koch, Tonya Koslo, Isabel Maxwell, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, Philip Kahn-Pauli, Victor Santiago Pineda, Ben Spangenberg, and Rachael Walloga.
We also want to extend a special thank you to our Spring 2019 cohort of National Leadership Program Fellows: Michelle Adams, Ariella Z. Barker, Candace Cable, Jeremy Cooper, Megghan Duffy, Cami Howe, Emily Kranking, Tatiana Lee, Vivian O’Neal, Charlotte Ruda, Samantha Stewart, Justin Tapp, Madeline Hannah Tasini, Angelique Uwabera, and Heidi Wangelin.
With such a wide range of contributors from the social sector family, if we have left off your name and you helped – please forgive us. We are grateful to all who made it a success.