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Washington, DC. As presidential candidates and political leaders gather for CPAC, RespectAbility, a non profit, non partisan organization devoted to empowering people with disabilities to achieve the American dream, urged candidates from all parties to put people with disabilities into the “Opportunity Agenda.” Said Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, President of RespectAbility, “Our nation was founded on the principle that anyone who works hard should be able to get ahead in life. People with disabilities deserve to be able to work to achieve the American dream, just like anyone else.”

Companies including Walgreens, E.Y. (which was formally known as Ernst and Young), AMC and others have shown that employees with disabilities are loyal, successful and help them make more money. When we find the right jobs for the right people it can and does increase the bottom line of companies. There is a substantial body of evidence-based practices that show how people with disabilities can have tremendous success if the right programs are put into place. RespectAbility has developed a resource called the Disability Employment First Planning Tool. This document details what those practices are and what models are most effective.

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Testimony of RespectAbilityUSA

Today I am testifying to the United States Department of Labor on key factors regarding how the new WIOA law is implemented to expand jobs for people with disabilities.

Given that these discussions can impact $17 BILLION a year of how our tax money impacts workforce development, it is vital to use best practices. Please see my summary statement below and the two very important attachments. Together we can really create progress which can reduce poverty and make our country stronger.

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Today in New Hampshire Sen. Rand Paul made an unfortunate comment about people with disabilities when he told a group of New Hampshire legislators that people on disability assistance were “gaming the system” and that “over half the people on disabilities are anxious or have back pain – join the club.”

Watch the video:

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Je Suis Charlie!

As a champion for equality for people with disabilities, Je Suis Charlie too. The terrorist attacks were aimed at freedom, liberty and equality. They harm us all. Humanity is like a tapestry with many different colored and textured threads. Woven together, we can keep each other warm, beautiful and safe. Torn apart we are nothing more than tiny bits of threads and scrap. The world is a better place when ALL people are respected for the gifts they have.

The work we do at RespectAbility is not fighting against terrorists – but it is fighting for the very VALUES they are trying to destroy. Every human being must be valued. For that to happen, every person must count – literally. What do I mean, and how does this apply to our work? This past week many celebrated that the unemployment rate in America went down to 5.6%. However, most people with disabilities who are working age were not counted in those numbers at all! That is because the government only counts people who are actively looking for work, and many people with disabilities, facing low expectations and harsh stigmas, have given up. So we have spent months simply counting.

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Slingshot Guide Highlights the Best of Non-Profit World

Bethesda, Maryland – RespectAbility, a new national, non-profit, non-partisan organization working to enable people with disabilities to achieve the American dream – including full inclusion in religious life, has been named one of North America’s top innovative organizations in the tenth annual Slingshot Guide. Slingshot is a creation of Jewish philanthropists and non-profit experts who are focused on results-driven non-profit organizations. The Slingshot Guide has become a go-to resource for volunteers, activists and donors looking for new opportunities and projects that are truly innovative. Groups chosen for the guide went through a deep vetting process.  RespectAbility was selected from among hundreds of finalists reviewed by 112 professionals with expertise in grant-making and communal life. Slingshot 2014-15 was released today.

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Washington, D.C. – Today the White House celebrated inclusive employment with a “Champions of Change” event. The official White House event recognized leaders who are making a positive impact on employment for people with disabilities.

Longtime leading institutions such as the USBLN, Kessler Foundation, government officials, Manpower, Walgreens and others were in attendance. So too were longtime leaders such as Ambassador Judy Heumann, Andy Imparato and others.

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RespectAbility Releases New Bi-Partisan Poll and Highlights #RespectTheAbility Campaign to Focus on How Hiring Workers with Disabilities Benefits the Employer, the Employee and Society

  • 88 percent feel that as a customer it is important “that the companies you do business with do not discriminate against qualified people with disabilities.”
  • Campaign spotlights model employers that demonstrate inclusive hiring can help their bottom line and starts by featuring Ernst & Young LLP

Washington, D.C., Oct. 2 – RespectAbilityUSA and POSITIVE EXPOSURE, two non-profits working to change how people see disabilities, have joined forces to create #RespectTheAbility, a campaign to focus on how hiring people with disabilities can make organizations stronger and more successful. The campaign highlights the benefits to employers that look beyond the disability and imagine the possibility when hiring talented employees with disabilities.

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By Huge Margins Swing Voters in Key Battleground States More Likely to Vote for Candidate Committed to Jobs for People with Disabilities

56% of likely voters say they, a family member, or a close friend has a disability 

NEW Bi-partisan poll of key battleground states presented by top pollsters, Democratic pollster Stan Greenberg PhD of Quinlan Rosner Research and Republican Pollster Whit Ayes, PhD of Northstar Opinion.

Click here to download slide presentation. Download the full poll questionnaire here.

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Governor (and your team),

I thought you’d want to see this as it is very relevant to your work. Now that WIOA is law, every state will have to make a comprehensive, performance based plan to expand job/career opportunities for people with disabilities. We are working with a team of experts to develop a scorecard to aid you in that process. We are identifying the policies and practices that are PROVEN to work and to SAVE TAX DOLLARS. We will send that to you as soon as it is ready. Also, you are invited to a call/webinar we are doing on Oct 7th at 1:30 ET with Mathematica to go over the highlights of their outstanding work on performance metrics in this sector.

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Respect Ability - Fighting Stigmas. Advancing Opportunities.


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