To truly embrace the talents of Jewish leaders with disabilities, your organization needs to be competent in knowing how to include people with disabilities in all parts of your work. To help our organizational partners, and the Jewish world as a whole to get there, RespectAbility will be presenting a training series to impart the needed skills to the Jewish community. Thanks to the generosity of the Jewish Community Foundation of Los Angeles and the David Berg Foundation, RespectAbility is proud to both present these trainings live and make them available as webinars to the global Jewish community. Running in February and March, the webinars will cover:
- Inclusion Is a Jewish Value:
Most Jewish organizations, even those focused on employment, immigrant rights, or other types of social justice, ground their work deeply in Jewish values. As the Jewish world puts serious work into becoming more inclusive, the temptation exists to define inclusion either separate from the Jewish mission of the organization, or as a recent outgrowth of the tradition’s focus on Tikkun Olam. In fact, the roots of inclusive values, middot, can be found in the Torah, and there are serious and meaningful discussions of inclusion in the Talmud. This training will help organizations situate inclusion within their Jewish values, as well as address the intersection between inclusion and modern halachic concerns for organizations serving the Jewish public.
- How to Create & Implement Successful Diversity, Equity, and Inclusion (DEI) Initiatives: Best Practices and Must-Haves:
The decision to prioritize diversity is an important step on an organization’s DEI journey, but the gap between a well-intentioned decision made and a successful outcome on disability access and inclusion can be extremely large. We will bring together leaders from the most successful organizations to share the benefit of their experiences and their secrets for success. This includes Jews with multiple minority status, including those of color, members of the LGBTQ community, women in leadership, and more.
- How to Ensure Legal Rights and Compliance Obligations: Exploring the Rights of Employees and Participants, and the Obligations of Jewish Organizations Under U.S. Law:
At RespectAbility, we believe strongly that the greatest motivator and argument around inclusion is the value that it brings both to the organization and to the person. Even with this backdrop, however, we recognize that parties will occasionally find themselves at points of disagreement, and at that point, it becomes important for everyone to know the nature of their legal rights and obligations. This session will cover those topics, including the special sensitivities and limitations applying to religious organizations.
- How to Ensure Accessible Events:
Organizational representatives will be given RespectAbility’s Accessibility Checklist and will be taught how to use it. Although 72 percent of nonprofit organizations say they have a policy of nondiscrimination against people with disabilities, too few take simple steps to make their programming truly accessible. For example, fewer than 60 percent of organizations have their events held in physically accessible spaces. Fewer than one-third (30 percent) of organizations offer opportunities for participants at public events to request accommodations like sign language interpreters, live captioning, or food allergy alternatives. This session will train organizations to ensure that their practices match their principles.
- How to Ensure A Welcoming Lexicon, Accessible Websites & Social Media and Inclusive Photos:
Today’s website is the front lobby of organizations, and social media is fast supplanting the more traditional ways that our organizations connect with the public. Our research shows that Jewish organizations are not yet using website basics for accessibility, like captioned videos, screen reader-friendly designs, and photo descriptions / alt-text. Run by RespectAbility’s communications team, this webinar will give a nonprofit everything it needs to know to open its digital door, along with the language that invites all people in to participate.
- How to Recruit, Accommodate and Promote Jewish Leaders with Disabilities for Paid Employment and Volunteer Leadership:
A large percentage of nonprofits we surveyed agree that the best solutions for the inclusion of a subgroup must incorporate the experience and knowledge of that subgroup, yet fewer than half of the nonprofits surveyed reported having a person with a disability on staff, let alone in leadership. We envision a training for HR and inclusion professionals to teach them everything they need to know to recruit, hire, accommodate, retain, and promote people with disabilities.
- How to Advance Disability Inclusion in Jewish Education:
Learn how fellow organizations are advancing Jewish Inclusion through Best Practices in Jewish Day Schools. For too long, Jewish parents of children with disabilities were faced with a stark decision: get my children the services they need or get them an education in a Jewish day school. We will share the successes of organizations looking to end this dichotomy such as Sulam in Rockville Maryland, and Gateways: Access to Jewish Education in Boston, Massachusetts. Each has pioneered a different approach to make this dream a reality, and we will learn what they did, how they did it, and most importantly how we can learn from them in our own communities.
Stay tuned for a schedule of dates and a registration link for these amazing trainings.