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Volunteer

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We’re looking for passionate volunteers who want to make a difference for and with people with disabilities. We have many areas of our work that you could help out with. These include:

  1. Education & Skills Building – Work with us on projects to improve educational opportunities and outcomes for students with disabilities at the local, state and federal level. Given that only 65 percent of students with disabilities graduate high school, and only seven percent complete college, this is a high priority.
    Contact: Philip Kahn-Pauli, Policy and Practices Director
  2. Jobs for People with Disabilities – Help advance our ongoing efforts to promote disability employment through best practices. This work includes meeting with governors, workforce boards, agencies, employers and other leaders to expand best practices at the state level.
    Contact: Philip Kahn-Pauli, Policy and Practices Director
  3. Stigma Reduction / Disability in Hollywood – Join with entertainment professionals who wish to ensure they and their colleagues are as inclusive of people with disabilities as possible while promoting positive, accurate, diverse and inclusive media portrayals in film, TV and theater. This team is largely made up by people working professionally in media or entertainment. 
    Contact: Lauren Appelbaum, Vice President, Communications
  4. Civic Engagement, Politics & Disability – Support our respectful nonpartisan engagement with political candidates in key governor and other races during their respective elections. We reach out to candidates and campaigns to educate them on how to make their campaigns accessible, what policies are important to people with disabilities as well as ask them to complete candidate questionnaires. We distribute those answers in a nonpartisan way, largely in press releases and voter guides prior to the election. This work can only be done by people who are willing to be nonpartisan for the purpose of this project. 
    Contact: Lauren Appelbaum, Vice President, Communications
  5. Inclusive Philanthropy/Nonprofits – Advocate for full inclusion of people with disabilities in both the programs philanthropists and nonprofits support and within their organizations. This work can be done by disability inclusion experts and employees of foundations, philanthropic associations, individual philanthropists, and others involved in the nonprofit sector.
    Contact: Franklin Anderson, Director of Inclusive Philanthropy and Development
  6. National Leadership Program – Help us recruit diverse talented young adults with and without disabilities who want to go into careers in public policy, advocacy and media while making a positive difference for people with disabilities.
    Contact: Ben Spangenberg, National Leadership Program Director
  7. Jewish Inclusion – Help ensure that Jews with disabilities are able to fully gain access to agencies and synagogues so they can fully participate in their communities. Volunteers for this team should already be involved in the Jewish community at some level and have some disability and inclusion experience. 
    Contact: Matan Koch, Director of RespectAbility California and Jewish Leadership

Modes of Volunteer Engagement

There are multiple modes and ways for you to be involved – many do not require physical presence. Your involvement can include any one or combination of the following:

  1. Attending Events: Examples include attending a town hall meeting or an event in your community; and, if you feel up for it, asking specific questions to spark constructive, respectful dialogue. We also hope to visit with the governors of every state to speak about education and employment for people with disabilities.
  2. Writing: Examples are writing an OpEd piece for your local newspaper or sending an email or letter to your representatives (we will provide a sample template) or emailing invitations to attend events. We also hope to write profiles of companies that are succeeding by hiring people with disabilities, and to write about disability-owned businesses.
  3. Phone Calls: Examples include calling individuals and/or organizations and/or businesses in your community, to invite them to attend an event or request needed statistics or answer specific questions.
  4. Social Media: Examples include reposting, sharing, and/or retweeting messaging that is provided (and approved) by RespectAbility.

Sign Up By Filling Out This Form:

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    Download the Volunteer Handbook

    If you have any general questions, email Ben Spangenberg, RespectAbility’s National Leadership Program Director.

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