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Empowering Women with Disabilities

Women with Disabilities

Baksha Ali Qiana Allen smiling headshot black and white headshot of Maya Angelou wearing hoop earings Khadija Bari smiling holding a white cane
Baksha Ali
She Sees What You Cannot See
[Read More]
Qiana Allen
Sharing Her Journey as an Entrepreneur with Lupus
[Read More]
Maya Angelou
Legendary Poet and Civil Rights Activist Who Had Disability, Inspires Generations
[Read More]
Khadija Bari
Becoming Her Whole Self
[Read More]
Ariella Barker smiling headshot. Barker is a white woman with blonde hair down past her shoulders who uses a wheelchair Halle Berry headshot smiling facing the camera with gold hoop earrings Simone Biles holding her gold medal at the Olympics Selma Blair in front of a white background
Ariella Barker
This Women’s History Month, I Remember the #MeToo Survivors with Disabilities
[Read More]
Halle Berry
Living with Disability While Taking a Stand against Domestic Violence
[Read More]
Simone Biles
Olympic & Disability Champion Makes History While Mesmerizing Many
[Read More]
Selma Blair
Positive Role Model for Success for Individuals with Acquired Disabilities
[Read More]
Kelley Cape smiling headshot La'Rina Carolina headshot smiling Teren'e Chambers smiling headshot Kim Chua smiling headshot
Kelley Cape
Queer, Quarantined, and Quitting
[Read More]
La’Rina Carolina
Pioneer breaking the inequality lines between deaf and hearing societies
[Read More]
Teren’e Chambers
Aspiring Director and Production Studio Owner
[Read More]
Kim Chua
How I Dance with Depression and Dissociation
[Read More]
Barbara Corcoran pointing toward the camera wearing a blue top and silver necklace Lois Curtis smiling Andrea Dalzell wearing scrubs, smiling. Dalzell is a person of color who uses a wheelchair Sneha Dave smiling
Barbara Corcoran
Shark Tank Entrepreneur and Business Owner Proves Dyslexics Can Be Successful
[Read More]
Lois Curtis
Woman with Mental and Intellectual Disabilities Fights for Freedom For All
[Read More]
Andrea Dalzell
RN Who Uses a Wheelchair Treating COVID-19 Patients in NYC
[Read More]
Sneha Dave
Super Talent Creates Network for Teens and Young Adults with Chronic Health Conditions
[Read More]
Shannon DeVido smiling headshot. DeVido is a wheelchair user Collette Divitto in her bakery wearing a mask and apron in a scene from Born For Business Kianna Dorsey smiling headshot on a television set Tammy Duckworth on stage smiling with the AIPAC logo behind her.
Shannon DeVido
Best Summer Ever Star Shines in Comedy and Beyond
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Collette Divitto
Showcases Importance of Supporting and Hiring Disabled Employees
[Read More]
KiAnna Dorsey
Sharing the stories of underrepresented communities
[Read More]
Tammy Duckworth
Illinois Senator Severs as Role Model for Many
[Read More]
Ashley Eakin smiling headshot Missy Elliot smiling for the camera, dressed in a black and white outift Shaina Ghuraya smiling headshot Haben Girma wearing a blue dress and pearls
Ashley Eakin
Changing Media Perceptions of Disability, One Film at a Time
[Read More]
Missy Elliott
‘Works it,’ Serves as Role Model for Young Women with Disabilities
[Read More]
Shaina Ghuraya
Triple Threat Creates Space for Spectacular Intersectional Stories to Grow
[Read More]
Haben Girma
Deafblind Civil Rights Lawyer Advocates for Disability Rights in Media
[Read More]
Whoopi Goldberg headshot wearing a gray sweater Lori Golden smiling headshot Selena Gomez wearing a white blouse with a cherry print posing for the camera with a yellow background Claudia Gordon smiling in front of an American flag
Whoopi Goldberg
Talented Actress, Comedienne and Talk Show Host Lives with Dyslexia
[Read More]
Lori Golden
Self-Advocate and Trailblazer in Disability Inclusion in the Workplace
[Read More]
Selena Gomez
Prioritizing Health, Serving as Role Model for Young Women with Disabilities
[Read More]
Claudia Gordon
First Female Deaf Black Lawyer and Anti-Discrimination Advocate
[Read More]
Salma Hayek wearing a blue top with her hand under her chin smiling for the camera Ketrina Hazell smiling headshot Abigail Heringer smiling headshot Senator Mazie Hirono inside the Capitol
Salma Hayek
Sharing Story of Dyslexia, Serving as Role Model for Latina Woman with Disabilities
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Ketrina Hazell
Unlocking Society’s Mold of Expectation
[Read More]
Abigail Heringer
The Bachelor Standout Calls for Intersectional Disability Visibility
[Read More]
Mazie Hirono
Hawaii Senator Recognized for Leadership as an Immigrant and as a Person with a Disability
[Read More]
Cami Howe smiling leaning back in her wheelchair Andrea Jennings smiling headshot Frida Kahlo black and white headshot Sophie Kim smiling headshot
Cami Howe
Strong Independent Woman Who Doesn’t Need A Knight in Shining Armor
[Read More]
Andrea Jennings
Black History Representation Matters in Arts Activism and Civic Leadership
[Read More]
Frida Kahlo
Through Art, Role Model for Artists, People with Disabilities and Bisexual Women
[Read More]
Sophie Jaewon Kim
14-Year-Old Korean-American Actress Paving the Way for Better On-Screen Representation
[Read More]
Solange Knowles wearing a black and yellow dress smiling for the camera Ana Kohout smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner headshot of Tonya smiling with her hair loose, wearing pearl earrings and pearl necklace wearing a white top and a light blue cardigan color photo Emily Kranking smiling headshot
Solange Knowles
Role Model for African American Performers with Disabilities
[Read More]
Ana Kohout
Young Activist Aims to Change Beliefs About People with Disabilities
[Read More]
Tonya Koslo
Cancer Survivor Who is Helping Others in Need
[Read More]
Emily Kranking
A Cute But Determined Girl with Cerebral Palsy: Believe It! #DisabledandCute
[Read More]
Janet LaBreck smiling in front of an American flag Kannie Yu LaPack smiling headshot Andrea Lausell leaning against a staircase railing in front of a wall Vanni Le smiling headshot in front of a staircase
Janet LaBreck
Successful Pioneer of Change and Role Model for African American Women with Disabilities
[Read More]
Kannie Yu LaPack
I Was Diagnosed With Breast Cancer—Then Coronavirus Happened
[Read More]
Andrea Lausell
Disability Pride & Hispanic Heritage Pride as One
[Read More]
Vanni Le
Striving To Effect Social Change and Champion Diversity and Inclusion
[Read More]
Nicole LeBlanc headshot Tatiana Lee in a wheelchair wearing a pink jacket smiling Gisselle Legere headshot Christina Link smiling headshot
Nicole LeBlanc
Reflecting on Women’s History Month
[Read More]
Tatiana Lee
Changing Media Perceptions of Disability, one Modeling Job at a Time
[Read More]
Gisselle Legere
Deafness Gives Her a Positive Edge in the Writer’s Room
[Read More]
Christina Lisk
The Crash of Learned Carelessness
[Read More]
Courtney Munnings smiling headshot wearing a black suit jacket and pink shirt Laka Negassa smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner Nelly Nieblas smiling headshot. Nieblas has a disability in her right arm. Carly Okyle headshot smiling. Okyle is white, has long brown hair and is wearing glasses.
Courtney Munnings
Never Lose Sight of Your Worth
[Read More]
Laka Mitiku Negassa
Brain Injury Survivor Hopes to Support Reform of U.S. Disability Policy
[Read More]
Nelly Nieblas
Making The Outsider The Insider
[Read More]
Carly Okyle
The Myth of Non-Progression
[Read More]
Krista Ramirez-Villatoro headshot Dr. Nelle Richardson headshot smiling Ava Xiao-Lin Rigelhaupt smiling headshot Gina Rodriguez wearing a black dress, smiling
Krista Ramirez-Villatoro
Fighting for the Rights of Disabled Latinas While Also Remembering How Far We’ve Come
[Read More]
Dr. Nelle Richardson
“We are more than enough, and we are standing firmly in our truth!”
[Read More]
Ava Rigelhaupt
Yes, I’m Jewish: An AAPI Month Reflection
[Read More]
Gina Rodriguez
Star of Jane the Virgin Opens Up About Her Anxiety
[Read More]
Michelle Rodriguez wearing a black tank and smiling Diana Romero smiling headshot. Leah Romond smiling headshot Cristina Sanz wearing a blue top
Michelle Rodriguez
Fast and Furious Actress Cites ADD as Motivation for Success
[Read More]
Diana Romero
Award-Winning Producer with Multiple Sclerosis Continues to Find Success in Hollywood
[Read More]
Leah Romond
Disability and Traumatic Brain Injury Advocate “Finding Her Place in the Universe”
[Read More]
Cristina Sanz
First Hispanic with a Disability to Win an Emmy Award, Shatters Stigmas
[Read More]
Mritika Senthil smiling headshot Abigail Shaw smiling seated on a bench outside Lolo Spencer smiling headshot. Lolo is a woman of color with short hair and hoop earrings Joy St. Juste smiling headshot
Mritika Senthil
Community Engagement Specialist at the Asian Americans with Disabilities Initiative
[Read More]
Abigail Shaw
Finding Independence Through Community
[Read More]
Lauren “Lolo” Spencer
The Importance of Authentic Storytelling
[Read More]
Joy St. Juste
RespectAbility Marketing and Communications Director on ADHD, Motherhood, and Defeating Ableist Expectations
[Read More]
Alejandra Tristan smiling headshot. Tristan is seated in her wheelchair A portrait of Harriet Tubman Donna Walton Lexi Zanghi smiling in a scene from Born for Business
Alejandra Tristan
Becoming Proud of Her Disabled Identity as a First-Generation American
[Read More]
Harriet Tubman
Legendary Poet and Civil Rights Activist with Epilepsy and TBI, Inspires Generations
[Read More]
Donna Walton
Creates Nationwide Movement of Representation with Divas With Disabilities
[Read More]
Lexi Zanghi
“Normalizing anxiety and talking about it is so important now more than ever”
[Read More]
Lachi smiling headshot seated backwards on a chair.
NY Music Sensation & Ardent Disability Champion
[Read More]

News You Can Use

  • Women with Disabilities: Challenges, Opportunities, and Role Models in 2022: Read More
  • Women with Disabilities Dramatically Outpace Men with Disabilities in Job Gains (March 5, 2020): Read More
  • 3,736 Women with Disabilities Lose Jobs in the U.S. (March 13, 2019): Read More

Women’s Disability Leadership, Inclusion & Advocacy Resources

The Women’s Disability Leadership, Inclusion & Advocacy Resources below are from a six-part training series that RespectAbility developed and implemented for women with disabilities, with support from New York Women’s Foundation and the Coca-Cola Foundation; and thanks to our fully accessible, gracious hosts: Guttman Community College (for five of the six trainings) and Marlene Meyerson JCC Manhattan (for the sixth training). Its two goals were:

  1. To upskill and empower women with disabilities, preparing them to bring their unique lens to civic life (e.g., becoming volunteers, board members, or employees for nonprofits and government agencies). By advancing their civic engagement, together we advance equity and inclusion in their communities and overall city that they call home.
  2. To build community among the attendees.

While each training was uniquely designed to be most relevant to its target audience/participants, there were five components that, for nearly all trainings, remained consistent:

  1. A noteworthy female keynote speaker and/or panelists who addressed the overall topic, relevant research, mental health advocacy, self-disclosure in the workplace, a Q&A, and sometimes sprinkled with live music. (This ‘frontal component’ was covered as a webinar and/or FB livestreamed. Video coverage shut down after the final Q&A, to ensure the privacy of our participants for the ensuing interactive components.)
  2. Original ‘intra-active’ (self-reflection) empowerment exercises that became highly interactive, joyful empowerment exercises.
  3. Small Group Discussions, [co]facilitated by women with expertise in that particular field (e.g., Self-Advocacy and Mental Health).
  4. Civic Engagement / Volunteer Opportunities relevant to the target audience participating at each training.
  5. A closed FB Group established for each, to foster opportunities for connection among the attendees.

Empowerment for Latinas with Disabilities

The spellbinding keynote speaker and self-advocate was Carol Robles-Román (former Deputy Mayor of NYC). Other dynamic Latinas – all self-advocates and allies – were presenters and facilitators for the later small group discussions (Dr. Shirley Leyro, Clarissa Ramos-Cafarelli, Jessica Palacios, Dr. Kaliris Salas-Ramirez, and Crystal Vazquez). Live music was provided by Amanda Lopez and Rebecca Muller.

The resources below were prepared for an empowerment training on this topic:

Attendees at training for latinas with disabilities smiling together

Intersectional Empowerment for Women and Girls with Disabilities

The powerful keynote speaker and self-advocate was Dr. Donna Walton: A RespectAbility board member; Founder of Divas with Disabilities; and author of Shattered Dreams, Broken Pieces. 

The resources below were prepared for an empowerment training on this topic:

Attendees at training on intersectionality smiling together

Empowerment for Mothers of Students with Disabilities

The dynamic panelists were Donna Meltzer, Michelle Grier, and Dr. Nelle Richardson, moderated by Gabby Einstein-Sim. They, along with other lively facilitators (Dr. Jordana Mendelson, Ketrina Hazell, Candace Cable, and Tatiana Lee), later facilitated small group discussions.

The resources below were prepared for an empowerment training on this topic:

Attendees at training for mothers of students with disabilities smiling together

Adding the “D” to Diversity: Enabling Foundations, Nonprofits and Partners to Include People with Disabilities

The spirited panelists were RespectAbility co-Founder and President, Jennifer Laszlo Mizrahi, and RespectAbility’s Inclusionists Candace Cable, Paralympian and Tatiana Lee, Award-winning actress.

The resources below were prepared for an empowerment training on this topic:

Attendees at adding the "d" to diversity training smiling together

Empowerment for Female College Students with Disabilities

The effective panelists were self-advocates and disability advocates Crystal Vazquez, Rebecca Gross, and Brilynn Rakes, moderated by Gabby Einstein-Sim. They, along with other knowledgeable college professionals in disability and community services (Valora Blackson and Maryanne Sackarnoski) later facilitated small group discussions.

The resources below were prepared for an empowerment training on this topic:

Attendees at training for college students with disabilities smiling together

Empowerment for Jewish Women with Disabilities

The bold panelists were self-advocates Dr. Danielle Sheypuk, Amy Rosenfield, and Ila Eckhoff, moderated by Rabbi Julie Schonfeld. They, and other impactful self-advocates who presented (Rachel Kunstadt and Lori Golden), along with allies Allison Kleinman and Eve Landau, later facilitated small group discussions. Live music was provided by Joanie Leeds and Debbie Fink.

The resources below were prepared for an empowerment training on this topic:

Attendees at training for jewish women with disabilities smiling together

Download Sample Handouts

Two rows of people sitting across from each other, doing speed empowerment exercisesMore Resources You Can Use

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