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Empowering Women with Disabilities

Talented Women with Disabilities

Baksha Ali smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner black and white headshot of Maya Angelou wearing hoop earings Khadija Bari headshot Ariella Barker in front of a tree and bushes. Ariella is a wheelchair user
Baksha Ali
She Sees What You Cannot See
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Maya Angelou
Legendary Poet and Civil Rights Activist Who Had Disability, Inspires Generations
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Khadija Bari
Becoming Her Whole Self
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Ariella Barker
This Women’s History Month, I Remember the #MeToo Survivors with Disabilities
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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 La'Rina Carolina headshot smiling
Halle Berry
Living with Disability While Taking a Stand against Domestic Violence
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Simone Biles
Olympic & Disability Champion Makes History While Mesmerizing Many
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Selma Blair
Positive Role Model for Success for Individuals with Acquired Disabilities
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La’Rina Carolina
Pioneer breaking the inequality lines between deaf and hearing societies
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Barbara Corcoran pointing toward the camera wearing a blue top and silver necklace Lois Curtis smiling Andrea Dalzell wearing scrubs headshot smiling headshot Sneha Dave with hair loose color photo
Barbara Corcoran
Shark Tank Entrepreneur and Business Owner Proves Dyslexics Can Be Successful
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Lois Curtis
Woman with Mental and Intellectual Disabilities Fights for Freedom For All
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Andrea Dalzell
RN Who Uses a Wheelchair Treating COVID-19 Patients in NYC
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Sneha Dave
Super Talent Creates Network for Teens and Young Adults with Chronic Health Conditions
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Ashley Eakin with a pair of over-ear headphones around her neck on a film set, smiling Missy Elliot smiling for the camera, dressed in a black and white outift Haben Girma wearing a blue dress and pearls Whoopi Goldberg headshot wearing a gray sweater
Ashley Eakin
Changing Media Perceptions of Disability, One Film at a Time
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Missy Elliott
‘Works it,’ Serves as Role Model for Young Women with Disabilities
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Haben Girma
Deafblind Civil Rights Lawyer Advocates for Disability Rights in Media
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Whoopi Goldberg
Talented Actress, Comedienne and Talk Show Host Lives with Dyslexia
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Lori Golden smiling sitting on a leather chair 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 Salma Hayek wearing a blue top with her hand under her chin smiling for the camera
Lori Golden
Self-Advocate and Trailblazer in Disability Inclusion in the Workplace
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Selena Gomez
Prioritizing Health, Serving as Role Model for Young Women with Disabilities
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Claudia Gordon
First Female Deaf Black Lawyer and Anti-Discrimination Advocate
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Salma Hayek
Sharing Story of Dyslexia, Serving as Role Model for Latina Woman with Disabilities
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Cami Howe smiling, leaning back in her wheelchair Frida Kahlo black and white headshot Solange Knowles wearing a black and yellow dress smiling for the camera Ana Kohout smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner
Cami Howe
Strong Independent Woman Who Doesn’t Need A Knight in Shining Armor
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Frida Kahlo
Through Art, Role Model for Artists, People with Disabilities and Bisexual Women
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Solange Knowles
Role Model for African American Performers with Disabilities
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Ana Kohout
Young Activist Aims to Change Beliefs About People with Disabilities
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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 in front of the RespectAbility banner Janet LaBreck smiling in front of an American flag Andrea Lausell leaning against a staircase railing in front of a wall
Tonya Koslo
Cancer Survivor Who is Helping Others in Need
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Emily Kranking
A Cute But Determined Girl with Cerebral Palsy: Believe It! #DisabledandCute
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Janet LaBreck
Successful Pioneer of Change and Role Model for African American Women with Disabilities
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Andrea Lausell
Disability Pride & Hispanic Heritage Pride as One
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Tatiana Lee in a wheelchair wearing a pink jacket smiling Laka Negassa smiling in front of the RespectAbility banner Carly Okyle headshot smiling Filmmaker Diana Romero In A Wheelchair Dressed In All Black
Tatiana Lee
Changing Media Perceptions of Disability, one Modeling Job at a Time
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Laka Mitiku Negassa
Brain Injury Survivor Hopes to Support Reform of U.S. Disability Policy
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Carly Okyle
The Myth of Non-Progression
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Diana Romero
Award-Winning Producer with Multiple Sclerosis Continues to Find Success in Hollywood
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Cristina Sanz wearing a blue top Abigail Shaw smiling headshot A portrait of Harriet Tubman Donna Walton wearing hear in a bun and pearl necklace and earrings
Cristina Sanz
First Hispanic with a Disability to Win an Emmy Award, Shatters Stigmas
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Abigail Shaw
“You Don’t Look Blind”
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Harriet Tubman
Legendary Poet and Civil Rights Activist with Epilepsy and TBI, Inspires Generations
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Donna Walton
Creates Nationwide Movement of Representation with Divas With Disabilities
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Headshot of Kaity in professional dress in front of the Respectability banner Lachi smiling headshot in front of a sign for the Grammy Awards
Kaity
At the Intersection of Deafness, Queerness and Being an Asian-American Woman
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Lachi
NY Music Sensation & Ardent Disability Champion
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News You Can Use

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.

For more information, contact Debbie Fink, the Project Director for these trainings, at debbief@respectability.org.

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 exercises

More Resources You Can Use

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